Skip to main content

Full text of "Philosophical magazine and journal : comprehending the various branches of science, the liberal and fine arts, agriculture, manufactures and commerce."

See other formats

• ••! 



v< A 

L , R ■ 1 


No. 231. 

July 1817. 

PuNisheci Ik?, ^^^^^ jj^y ofeveiy Month, 
^''^i^E 2s. 6d,] 








For JOEY 1617. 

To Illustrate Sir Humphr'/ Davy's new Reseai^ches on Flame, ^ 
and Sir Georgb Cayley's Papei; on Aeml-Navigatlon. ^^M 


• W.U.I.A. F,S.A. KDIN. AND rERTII, &C. 



And sold by Cadbh. and Daviesj Lokgmak, Hurst, Eees, 

. Orme, & Browm; 2«Iurrayj HiGnLET; Sherwood and Co.; M^_ 

Harding; UNOF.Rwoon; Simpkin ?nd Marshall; London: hJ!)' ^\ 

Constable and Co. Edinburgh : Brash and Reid ; L)uN-\^^ 

CAN ; and Penman, Glasgow : and GiLBBRr and Hodges, @^§\ 



TheCommunicailons of Mr. Inglis or '^ ^^^'"S ^nd Flow- 
ing of Springs ; and of Mr. Hare or''^ ^"^'''" ""^ Refractory 
Bodies by his Compound Blow-pi--' ^^""^ ^^^^^ received, and 
will appear in our next. 



This Day is published ' ^^"odecimo, Pric? 6s. 6d. Boards, 

as an Introductio ^° ^^^ Science, for the Use of young Persons, 
and otlier^ not conve-''"'- ^"-^ ^^}^ Mathematics, Accompanied by Plates, 
numerous Diagra'-'*' ^"'^ ^ copious Index. 


Author of * Outlines of Mineralogy and Geology," and of « An Ele- 

mentary Introduction to Mineralogy." 

Lc'idon : Printed and Sold by William Phillips, George Yard, Lom- 
bard Street. ^ 

CATON'S WORKS A new Edition, Price 3s. 


of the DIFFERENT STAGES of ASTFIMA, with new and suc- 
cessful Instructions for the Prevention and Treatment of Asthmatic Fits, 
including the Theory of Respiration, &c. 

By T. M. CATON, Surgeon, 

No. 10, Stanhope-Street, Nev/castk-Street, Strand; late ox' the Unit»d 

Hospitals of St. Thomas and Guy. 

Prmted for Messrs. Sherwood and Co. 20, Paternoster Row. 
A'TREATISE on INDIGESTION: being an Inquiry mtothe Dis- 
eases arising and connected with the Functions of the Stomach : witli Re- 
niarks on the Liver, and its Influence on the Gastric System : to which 
are prefixed some general Observations on Scrofulous and Cutaneous Dis- 
eases. Price 3s. 


Vol. XLIV, A Plate to illustrate Mr. Hume's Gazometer and Blow- 
pipe ; a Proposal for an Improvement of the Galvanic Trough ; and a 
new Apparatus for preparing pure Muriatic Acid. — A practical Diagram 
for obtaining the Lunar Distances observed by a Sextant. — Electrical 
Apparatus to illustrate Mr. Brande's Paper on some new Electiipal 
Phxnomena.— A Quarto Plate to illustrate Mrs. Ibbetson's Paper on the 
Cuticle of Leaves. — Br onton's Patent Chain Cable, — Figures relative to 
Dr. Brewster's Paper on the AfFectioiis of Light transmitted through, 
erystallized Bodies. — A Plate to illustTate Dr. Brewster's Paper giVvn 
in enr last Moinbcr. 

No. 232^ 

11 .THE 



The various branches of science, 
the liberal and hne auts, 








RepresentTjig a Section of the Pneuniatic Cisreni uith the Com- 
p<nintl Inow-pipe of Mr. Hare ; and a Sketch of a Steam- 
'"^ssfejgiifitended to run between London and Exeter, 



V.n,l.A.T.S,A.SiDi*^<iD TCUTII, &C.. 



And Bold by C\DUVt. and Bavies; LoNaMAH. HtrusT, Rbes, 
Okme, Sc Brown-; Morrayj Hiohlet; SHnawoou and Co.j 
Hardinoj UjtDfinwooD; SiMfKiNund Marshall ; London; 
CoKSTABtB and Co. Edinburgh : Bkasu and Bbid ; .Dun- 
can; aad PcN MAN, Glasgow ; and Gilbert and Hodges, 


§[^ TO C0IIRESP0NDE>'T3. f"^ 

'rif Mr. RuSSBI. on tl'.u Rotary nnrl O/uicnl-ir Motions.— Mr. Be>-\vfi,I.'s J;!? 

^ Tlieorems for dctcniiiiiing tjie Value of increasing Life Annuities. - ^i^ 

■i| LlTHOPHlLUS; and Gevcral va'.iiablc Cocniuniciitioiis tVom M. Van ^'j^ 

^ Moxs, in oar next. " . ■ _ '■' \i 

^ The paper of B. N. has l-cen received, and is under consideration. y:^ 

Blenheim-Strec", Great M;trlborough-Street. 

will begin on the following D;iys : ' ' 

Anatomy, Physiology, and Sargcfy, by Mr. Brookes, daily, at Two, 
• on Wednesday, "October l.—Disscctlors as usual, 

Cliernistry, Materia ?,Icdir.H, &c. daily, at Eir^ht o'clock tn the Morning j 
Theory and Practice ol" Physic at Nine, with E>:aminations, by Dr. ALger, 
on Monday, October- 6, IS 17.' • -.. , 

ThreeCourses are j^iven every year, each occupying nearly fo'.ir "mohths. 
Further particulars may be known from Mj-. Brookes, at the Theatre ; 
or from^^^r. Ager, 69, Margaret- Street, Cavendish-Square. 
■ c r . — . — %-r ./'.......' ., . '.' ' , -^— '- — . - ' - . — r^ ■ . — r 


Vol. XLIl. A Plata containing Professor Leslik's Atmometer, and 
Figures to illustrai'e Dr. Wollaston's Paper on the elementary l^^rtlclea 
erf certain Crystals. — A Sketch of that Part of the Island of Java which 
contains the natural Lake, of Sulphuric Acid. — Interior of Volcano in the 
Island ot Java, and Figures tq illustrate Mr. Walker's Paper on the Elec- 
tric Fluid. — A Plate to illu-ftrare M. Limk'^s Memoir on the Anatomy of 
' Plants, and Dr. \V,CLt.\s ton's Cryophori;s.-:-A third Plate to iliu^uate 
M. JL IN ifc'b Memoir on the Anatomy of Plants.— Mr. T.Jones's Secto- 
graph, — a new Instrument for dividing right Lines into equal Parts, tneasu*- 
ing Angles, and inscribing Polygons in the Circle, &c. 

Vol. XLIII. A Plate to illustrate a , New. 'I'ransit Instrument iuvehted 
by Sir H. C. En^lefi.eld, Bart. — A Plate to illustratt the Use ofAir- 
Vessels in Plants. ,, By Mrs. InBETSON.— A Plate i(? illustrate M. Se- 
MENTim's riev/ Apparatus for producing Oxygen, Gas to restore sus- 
pended Animat",6n — Mr. Reade'* l^er on the Refraction of the Solar 

■ Rays — and Mr. HARcr.EAVEs's Obsc^i-vations on Colours A Phite to 

illustrate Mr. J. V7HiTFOi?.D's mec'ianical Substitute for Leeches; and Mr, 
J.Tilley's Hydro-pneumatic Blow-pipc. — A Plate to describe" Mr, 
R. Hughes's Gudgeon for die Shaft of a Water-wheel; and Mr. Pad- 
. eorV's Guard fora C.iViiage-wheel. — A Plate to describe Captain Peat's 
. Temporary Ship's Rudder. — A Quarto Plate of Mn Samuel Jones's 
Sofa Red. ,' ' 

Vel. XLIV. A Plate to illustrate Mr. Hu m e*s Gazometer and B^w, 
pipe ; aPropos-al for an Improvement of the Galvanic Trough ; and 3 
new Apparatus for preparing pure Afuriatic Acid.— A practictl Diagram 
for obtaining the Lunar Distances observed by a Sextant. — Electrical 
Apparatus to illustrate Mr. Brande's Paper on some new Electrical 
Phenomena. — A Quarto Plate to illustrate Mrs. Ibbetson's Paper on the 
Cuticle of Leaves. — BrI^nton's Patent Ch.ain Cable. — Figures relative to 
Dr. Erfwster's Paper on the Ali^ictions of Light transmitted througk 
erysttllizcd Bodies.— A Plate to illustrate Dr. Brewster's Paper given 
in our last Number. 

^OL. 50. 

September 1817. 

No. &33. 

j^^ Published tjie Last Day of every Months 

^ [PRICE 2s. 6d.] 









For SEPTiMBE(t 1817. 


I Representing: Apparatus for Sublimation of Todine-^Model c>f^^iM 

a Safety Furnace by Mr. Bakewull — Apparatus tor consr.m- " ' 

ing Fire-damp, in the Mine — and Apparatus for re-Iighdng 

the Miners' Davy. " Ml 

f ^ ^^^ 


W.U.LAa.S.A. EUIS. AK D PERTriT, <So<-. 



And sold by C A DEL I. and Davibs; Longman, Kbeb, 
Ormb, & Brown} Murray; Hiohley; Sheuwood and Co.; 
Harding; Undbrwood; Simpkin and Marshai^l ; LoBdonri 
Constable and Co. Edinburgh : Brash and Reid ; JDux-' 
can; and Penman, Claigow : and Gilbert' and HopcES, 


d) Dr. Reid's New Quadratic Theorem;— Mr. Tatum in Continuation S|f, 

fi yn Vegetation; — Mr. Uppingham on the Musical Scale; — Remarks on W^ 

M the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, by A Correspondent; — Acknow- ^ 

11 ledtiMuents to Mr. W. FoKSTER and Geological Queries by A CoN- ^ 

STAN r Reader, have been received, and will appear in our next. j!^ 

Rectilineus is under consideration. , , »V 

This Day is published, in four very large Volumes, 8vo. Price 31. 

M.D. F.R.S. 
New Edition, entrrely recomposed. 
London : Print-jd for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, Paternoster Row ; 
V/m. Blackwood, and Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh ; and Hodges and 
Micin hur, Dublitr. ' 

Lately published, 

J as an Introduction to the Science, for liie Use of young Persons 
and others not conversant with the Mathematics. Accompanied by Plates, 
rumerous Diagrams, and a copious Index, , 

Price 6s. 6d. Boards. 

Also, by tlie same Author, 

ol' MINERALOGY, including some Account of Mineral Elements and j,f 
Constituents, ExplanfUions of Terms in common Use; brief Account of 
Minerals, and of the Places and Circumstances in which they are found. 
Designed for the Use of the Student. Price .8s, 6d. Boards. 
Sexroiid Edition of 

tile Use of tliose who may desire to become acquaifited with the E!e- 
ni.mts of those Sciences; especially of young Persons. Illustrated by 
lour Plates. To which is added. An Outline of the Geology of 
England and Wales, w'ith aMaprand Section of the Strata. Price 8s. 6d. 
Boards. • 

The Outline of the Geology of England and Wales may be had sepa- 
rate, Price 2s. 6d. stitched. 

London : Printed and Sold by William Phillips, George Yard, Lom- 
bard Street. 

Vol, XLIV. .A. Plate to illustrate Mr. Hume's Gazometer and Blow- 
pipe ; a Proposal for an Improvement of the Galvanic Troiirh ; and a 
uow Apparatus for,preparing pure Muriatic Acid.— A practical Diagram 
for obtaining the Lunar Distances observed by a Sextant. — Electric^ 
Apparatus to illustrate Mr. Brande's Paper on some new Electrical 
Pha;nomena.-..-A Quarto Plate to illustrate Mrs. Ibbetson's Paper on the 
Cuticle of Leaves. — Brunton's Patent Chain Cable. — Figures relative to 
Dr. Brewster's Paper on the Affections of Light transmitted through 
crystallized Bodies.— A Plate t« illustrate Dr. Brkwster's Paper grvea 
in our last Nnmber. 

Published the. Last Day of every MontT, 
fPHieE 28. 6d.] ' ' 












tDustr^tive of Mrs Ibb.tso^'s Theoryof the Physiology of 
vegetables. ^^ 


^'•R-I.A.F.S.A.EDiy. AND PERTH, &c, [ ■ 


^A^ , ailU 1 EN MAN, Glasgow • an<4 Cii,^„^ > rr 

Lublin. «='t>ow. and txiLBE&r and Hodges,, 

■R. STEWART has the honour to annowice to the Philosophical 
World, that a'>out the Middle of December he will submit for 
SALE by AUCTION, at his Gre^it Room, 194-, Piccadilly, All the 
Valuable ;;nd ■welUkncwn Electrical, Philosophical and Chet^ical, 
iip PARATus of ihatEminent Experimental Philosopher the late GEORGE 
.lOHN SINGKR, Esq. conaisting of Magnificent Plate and Cylinder 
Machines of the largest Dilnensions, constructed upon very superior 
Principles. Electric Columns, amouj which are some very interesting 
Specimens of Elrctrical Perpetual Motions, with all the usual Apparatus 
used in scientific Lectures, To which will be added his Select Library of 
Books, chiefly upon Cliemistry and Experimental Philosophy. 

Catalogues are preparing, and further Particulars will be announced in 
due time. 

This Day is published in Octavo, with num«rous Tables and Plates, 
Price 18s. in Boards, 

founded upon Experiments performed at the Royal Military Aca- 
demy, on Specimens selected from the Royal Arsenal, and Kis Majesty's 
Dock Yard, Woolwich, preceded by an historical Review of former 
Theories and Experim.tats ; also an Appendix on the Strength of Iron 
and other Materials. - ' 

,Cf the Royal Military Academy, 
Published by J. Taylor, at the Architectural Library, 59, High Hoi' 
- . T- ;., T . ~„. ... " ' . ' ' — ■ . ■ — ' ■■ ■•.- . • , ' : . .. - .. , I 'll' 


Vol. XLIl. A Plate containing Professor Leslie's Atmonnetcr, ancj 
Egures to illustrate Dr. Wollaston'r Paper on the elementary Particles 
of certain Crystals. — A Sketch of that Part of the Island of Java which 
contains the natur;d Lake of Sulphuric Acid. — Interior of Volcano in the 
lilaiid of Java, and Figures to illustrate Mr. V/alkbr's Paper on the Elec- 
tric Fluid. — A Plaic to illustrate M. Link's Memoir on the Anatomy of 
Plants, and Dr. WoLLAS row's Cryophorus. — A third Plate to illustrate 
M. Link's Memoir on the Anatomy of Plants. — Mr. T. Jones's Seeto- 
graph, — a new Instrument for dividing right Lines into equal Partf,measunr« 
ing Angles, mtd inscribing Polygons in the Circle, &c. 

Vol. XLIII. A Plate to illustrate a New Transit Instrument invented I 
by Sir H. C Englefield, Bart. — A Piute to illustrate the Use of Air- ^ 
Vessels in Plants. By Mrs. Ibbetson. — A Plate to Illustrate M. Se- f 
KENTira's iiew Apparatus for producing Oxygen Gas to restore sus- i 
pended Animiation— rMr. FwEADe's Paper on the Refraction of the Solar Tt 
Rays — and' Mr. PI arc reave s's Observations on Colours. — A Plate to b 
Illustrate Mr. J. Whitford's mechanical Substitute for Eeechcs; and Mr. ^, 
J.-Tillhy's Hydro-pnccnratic Blow-pipe. — A Plate to describe Mr. 
R. PIuGHEs's Gudgeon for the Shaft of a Waier-wheel; and Mr. Fad- 
sury's Guardfor a Carriage-wheel. — A Plate to describe Captain Peat's 
Temporary Ship's Rudder,— A Quarto Plate of Mr, Sam i; ft Jones's 
Sofa Bod. . , • 1, 

Vol. XLIV. A Plate to illustrate Mr. Hume's Gazometer and Blcw.r 
pipe ; a Proposal for an Improvom.ent of the Galvanic Trough 5 and a k 
iiew Apparatus for preparing pure Muriatic Acid.-r-A practical Diagram 
for obtaining the Lunar Distances observed by a SeXtant. — Electric;' 
Apparatus to lihistrato Mr, Brande's Paper on some new ElecuJc; 
Fii-denomcna.— A Quanc Plate to iiir.strate Mrs. Ibbetjon's Paper on '.hi 
C'ltide of- Leaves]— Brunton's Patent Chain Cable. — Figures relative tc 
Dr. Br.EWSTiia's Paper on the Affections of Light transmitted chrougl 
ilhzed Bodi es.— -A Plate to illustrate J)t. Bkews,tei;'s Paper givcj 
^™^^^"— 4 


December 1817. 

No. 236. 

Published the Last Day cyf every Month, 
[PRICE 2s. 6d,] 









For DECEMBER 1817. 

Illustrative of Mrl Dickinson*- new System cf Beaconing. 


11.R.I.A. F,S.A. EDIN. AND PERTH, &», 





And sold by C A DEI (. and Davies; LoNGMAWi^iiuRsx, Rebs, 
OuMR, & Brownj Hiohlby; SHEmvjpoDaivd Go.; Harding; 
Underwood; SiMpkin and M'lkV'n all; London: Constable 
and Co. Edinburgh : BRASH.ifnd Reid ; Duncan ; and Pen- 
mam, Glasgow : and GiLBrar andriopGss, Dublin. 





W. H. G. in reply to Mr. Tatum shall have a placfi If he will allow 
U8 to a&x. his name to it. In the present state of the correspondence 
on the subject of his letter any thing at all anonymous would not be 

Mr. Benwell's Supplement to his Paper on the Values of increasing 
Life Annuities in our .next. . 

Mr. Inglw on Flax Steeping; Mr. Fobster on Aerbnautics ; a Pa- 
per on Dry Rot; and E. S. and other articles on the case of Miss 
MacAvoy also in our next. 

Qlenhetm-Sueet, Marlborough-Street. 

THE SPRING COURSE of LECTURES, at this School, will 
begin on the following Days : 
Anatomy, Physiology, and Surgery, by Mr.. Brookes, daily, at Two, 
on Monday, January 19. — Dissections as usual. ^ i- ' 

Chemistry, Materia Medica, &c. daily, at Eight in the Morning; Theory 
and Practice of Physic at Nine, with Examinations, by Dr. Ager, on .Mou<i[ 
day, Februarys, 18J 8. . • _ 

Three Courses aie given every yearj-each occupying nearly four months, 
Further particulars may be known from Mr. Brookes, at the Theatre f 
or from Dr. Ager, 69, ^'*'•gareuSt^eet, Cavendish-Square. 

is a t...,^ • ■' ■ ■ ■ ' ^ -^ ■ ■■'■■ •■■'■ l; I ' l .- i 1 ,1^ I 


Vol. XLII. A Plata containing. Professor Lf.slik's Atmometcr, an<i 
Figures to illustrate Dr. Wollaston's Paper on the elementary Ptrtielea 
of certain Crystals. — A Sketch of that Pan of the Island of Java which 
contains the natural Lake of Sulphuric Acid. — Interior of Volcano in the 
Island of Java, and Figures to illustrate Mr. Walker's Paper on the EkrC* 
trie Fluid. — A Plais to illustrate M. Likk's Memoir on the Anatomy of 
Plants, and Dr. Wollaston's CryopKorus. — A third Plate to illustrate 
M. Link's Me'Moir on the Anatomy of Plants. — Mr. T. Jones's Seew»r 
graph, — a new I::st?ument for dividing right Lines into equal PartSjttieastir^ 
ing Angles, and inscribing Polygons in the Circle, &c. 

Vol, XLIIl. A Plate to illustrate a New Transit In-Jtrument inyented 
by Sir H. C Bnglbfield, Bart, — A Plate to illustrate the Use of Air- 
Vessels in Plants. By Mrs. Ibbetson.— «A Plate to illustrate M- Se< 
jHENTiNi's new Apparatus for producing Oxj'gcn Gas to restore sn» 
pended Animatiion — Mr. Readk's Paper on the Refraction of the Solar 
Rays— and Mr. ^argreaves's Observations on Colours.— -A Plat£ to 
illustrate .Mr. J. ^.f hitforo's mechpuical Substitute for ^eeches; and Mr, 
■ J. T^LLEY's■Hy(j^»rprleuc"lat•.c Blow-pipe. — A Plate tp describe Mr. 
R. Hughes's Gudgeon fjt>*Jje Shaft of a Water-wheel; and Mr. Pad* 
bury's Guard for a Cars iage->vheei.— A Plate to describe Captain Peat'^ 
Temporary Ship's Rudder. — ^A Ouiirto Plate of Mr. Sampel J©nes*j 
Sofa Red- "^ \ '' 

Vol, XLIV. A Plate to illustrate ivlr. Hume's Gazoiret;er and Blow-J 
pipe; a Proposal for an Improvemei* of the Galvanic Trougli ; and M 
new Apparatus for preparing pure Miyriatic Acid.— A practical DiagraiB 
for obtaining the Lunar Distances observed by a Sextant. — Electricd 
Apparatus to illustrate Mr. BrandVs Paper on <• ^j-^^es relative, S| 

I i""---^- — 11^ ?-iirri''iirrril'i]iii\r-f-ifiir- ^ -ini riiniil 










M.R.I.A. M.R.AS. AIuNicH, F.S.A. Edin. and Perth, &c. 

" Nee aranearum sane textus ideo melior quia ex se fila gignunt, nee noster 
vljior quia ex alienis libamus uc apes." Just. Lips. J^ Font, lib. i. cap. i. 

VOL. L. 

^. and DECEMBER, 1817. 

"-:C, "'"^ ;' -^ LONDON: 


And sold by Cadell and Davies ; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and 

Brow.«j; Murray ; Highley: Sum wood and Co.; Harding; 

Underwood, London: Const able and Co. Edinburgh : 

Brasu and Reid; Duncan ; and Penman, Glasgow: 

and Gilbert and Hodges, Dublin. 


^OME new Researches 071 Flame 3 

On Aerial Navigation 27 

Remarks on S?V Richard Phillips's Nieiv Hypothesis. 35 

Neiv Outlines of Chemical Philosophy 38 

Extract of a Letter from Colonel Mudge to William Black- 
wood, Esq. relative to the Trigonometrical Survey. . . 40 

Experiments on Vegetation, tending to correct some erroneous 
Opinions entertained respecting the Effects of Vegetation on 
the Atmosphere 42 

Geological Queries to Mr.WESTGARTH Forster, Mr. Winch, 
Mr. Fryer, &c. regarding the Basaltic and other Strata of' 
Northumberland and Durham, &c 45 

Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider of the 
Means of preventing the Mischief of Explosion from hap- 
pening on board Steam-boats, to the Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty' s Subjects on board such Boats. 50, 83, 167, 

243, 327 

On the Cause of Ebbing and Flowing Springs. . . . . 81 

Further Considerations on the Doctrine that the Phcenomena of 
Terrestrial Gravitation are occasioned by known Terrestrial 

Motions • . . 101 

On the Oxi-hydrogen Blow-pipe 106 

On the Steam- Vessel proposed to be employed between London 

and Exeter- 114 

A Mathematical Question 115 

On the Case of Injustice which Authors sometimes suffer from 
other PVriters, and from Annotators ; particularly the late 
Mr. John Williams, Author of the " Mineral Kingdom" 1 16 

Vol.50. No. 236. Dec. 1817. a On 


On Vegetation in artifcial Media. .. '. . '. . .. 121 
On the Geology of Nor! /mini er land 122 

On the Adianlaae<! that may le expected to result, from the 
Sludii of tlui ^Principles of Stratification ; with Remarks on 
the proper Objects of Inqniry in this important Branch of 
Geology l^'* 

On the IFork entitled "Chromatics;' or. An Essay on the 
Analogy and llarmoiiy of Colotirs 128 

On Iodine. 161 

Theorems for deteimlning the Values of increasing Life An- 
nuities. .. .. .. .. •• •• 16-i 

Memoir o/' Abraham Gottlob Werner, late Professor of Mi- 
neralogy at Frieberg. .. .. .. .. .. 1S2 

Preface to "The Natural Hi story of the Mineral Kingdom. lS9j 


Geological Queries regarding the Strata of the Vicinity of Brid- 

lington ; and some Acknowledgements to Nathan jel John 

W men, Esq., &c. .. : 200 

On the Rotary and Orbicular Motions of the Earth. . . 204 

On Mr. Tatum's Experiments on Vegetation 206 

Remarks on Sir R. Phillips's Defence of his Hypothesis. 208 

On Sir Richard Phillips's supposed Discovery of the Cause 
of the Phcenomena of Terrestrial Gravitation. .. 210 

The Description of a Safety Furnace for preventing Explosions 
in Coal- Mines. .. .. .. .. ..211 

Remarks on Mr. Murray's Objections to Experiments on Vege- 
tation detailed in the VhW. M-d<^. for July .. .. 213 

Answer to Geological Queries of-'A Constant Reader." 216 

Description of an Apparatus for consuming Fire-damp in the 
Mines wilhojtt Danger of an Explosio7i : — Apparatus for re- 
lighting the Miners' Davy. .. .. .. ..217 

On the new Theory of the System of the Universe. . . 219 

'On Colours — In Answer to Mr. T. HargreaVes's Strictures on 
the IVork entitled " Chromatics ; or, An Essay on the Analogy 
and Harm'rny if Colours." ... .. .. ,.241 

a4 short Account of Horizmital Water-Wheels 256 

On Ebbing and Plowing Spings; tvitli Geological Remarks and 
Queries.. .. ,. .. 267 



On forming Collections of Geological Specimens; and respecting 
those of Mr. Smith in the British Mtiseitm 269 

Jnswer io the Letter ofC. of Exeter on Steam-Boats to le nsed 
in conveying Merchandise ly Sea. . . . . • . 287 

On the Cause of the Chancres of Colour in Mineral Cameleon, 
•J ^ •" 291 

On an apparently new Species of Wren, discovered at Tunlridge 
Wells. 296 

On the Question " Whether Music is necessary to the Orator.-^ 
to wliat Extent, and liow most readily attainable P" . . 321 

On extracting Alcohol from Potatoes, and preparing Potash 
from Poiatoe-tops. . . . . . . . . . . 337 

Oil the Physiology of Vegctalles. .. .. ..341 

" Delia Purificazione del Mercurio, Memoria del Sig. Dotf. 
G. Branchi," &c 343 

Answer fo W. H. G.'s Observations on' Mr. Tatum's Experi- 
ments on P'egetation. . . . . . . . . . . 353 

Acknowledgements to Mr, Westg a rtii Yo^?>ts.K', further Geo- 
logical Queries, on the Basaltic Strata of Durham and 
Ncrtkumberland : and Suggestions regarding the Situation 
(fthe Granite Patches of the North of England, in its Series 
of Strata. . . , . . . . , . . . . 353 

Geological Observations on Strathearn. . , . . . . 362 

On the component Parts of Light, and the Cause of Colour. 366 

On the pretended Parallel Eoads of Glen Roy. . . . . 374 

On Cosmogony . .. .. ., .. ,. .. 375 

New QuadraUic Theorem. . . , , . . . . 373 

On a volatile concreteOil existing in the Nut-galls oftheOak.4(}l 

On the Atomic Theory. . , . . . . . . 406 

On the Ring of Saturn. , . . . , , . . 409 

An easy, simple, and infallible Method to force every Fruit- 
Tree to blossom and to bear Fruit. ., . . . . 411 

On the Resistance of Solids; with Tables of the specific Cohesion 
and the cohesive Force of Bodies. .. ., .. 413 

Some further Observations on the Use of the Colchicum antum- 
nale inCout. ,. .. .. ., .. ., 428 

Experiments and Observations upon the State of the Air in 
the Fever Hospitals of Cork, at a Time tohcn they were 
crowded with Patients labouring under Febrile Contagion. 433 



Upon the Extent of the Expansion and Contraction of Timber 
«7i different Directions relative to the Position of the Medulla 

of the Tree 437 

On the Nautical Almanac for 1 820 450 

Prospectus of a neiv Sij stem of Beaconing. .. .. 433 

Notices respecting New Books. 65, 130, 224, 297, 379, 449 
Proceedings of Learned Societies. 69, 146, 220, 293, 375, 456 
Intelligence and Miscellaneous Articles. 73, 143,230,307,386, 


List of Patents 76, 154, 235, 317, 391, 466 

Meteorological Takes, 77—80, 1 57— 1 60, 237—240, 3 1 9— 

320, 395—400, 470—4/3 




I. Some new Researches on Flame. By Sir Humphry Davy, 
LL.D. F.R.S. V.PM.L'' 

i- HAVE described in three papers which the Royal Society have 
honoured with a place in their Transactions, a number of ex- 
periments on combustion, which show that the explosion of 
gaseous mixtures can be prevented or arrested bv various cooling 
influence'j, and which led me to discover a tissue permeable to 
light and air, but impermeable to flame, on which I founded the 
invention of the wire-gauze safe-lamp now generally used in all 
collieries in which inflammable air prevails, for the preservation of 
the lives and persons of the miners. In a short notice published 
in the third number of the Journal of Science and the Arts, edited 
at tile Royal Institution, I have given an account of some new 
results on flame, which show that the intensity of the light of 
flames depends principallv upon tlie |)roduction and ignition of 
solid matter in combustion, and that the heat and light in this 
j)rocess are in a great measure independent phauomena. Since 
this notice has been printed, I have made a number of researches 
on flame : and as they appear to me to throw some new lights on 
this important subject, and to lead to some practical views con- 
nected with the useful arts, I shall without any further apology 
present them to the Roval Society. 

That greater distinctness may exist in the details, I shall treat 
of mv subjects under four heads. In the fust I shall discuss the 
effects of rarefaction, bv partly removing the pressure of the at- 
mosphere upon flame and explosion. In the second, I shall con- 
sider the effects of heat in combustion. In the tiiird, I shall 
examine the effect of the mixture of gaseous substances not con- 
cerned in combustion upon flame and explosion. In the fourth, 
I shall offer some general views upon flame, and point out cer- 
tain practical and theoretical applications of the results. 

• From the Transactions of the Itoyal Society for 1817, part i. 

Vol. 50. No. 231. Julij 1S17. A 2 I. On 

4 Sotne new Researches on Flame. 

I. On the Effect of Rarefaction ly partly removing the Presmre 
of the Atmosphere upon Flame and Explosion. 

The earlier experimenters upon the Boylean vacuum observed 
that flame ceased in highly rarefied air : but the degree of rare- 
faction necessary for this effect has been differently stated. 
Amongst late experimenters, M. de Grotthus has examined this 
subject. He has asserted that a mixture of oxygen and hydro- 
gen ceases to be explosive bv the electrical spark when rarefied 
sixteen times, and that a mixture of chlorine and hydrogen can- 
not be exploded when rarefied only six times, and he generalizes 
by supposing that rarefaction, whether produced by removing 
pressure or bv heat, has the same effect. 

I shall not' begin by discussing the experiments of this inge- 
nious author. My own results and conclusions are very different 
from his ; and the cause of this difference will I think be ob- 
vious in the course of these inquiries. 1 shall proceed in stating 
the observations which guided my researches. 

When hydrogen gas slowly produced from a proper mixture 
was inflamed at a fine orifice of a glass tube, as in the experi- 
ment called the philosophical candle, so as to make a jet of 
flame of about l-6th of an inch in height, and introduced under 
the receiver of an air-pump containing from 200 to 300 cubical 
inches of air, the flame enlarged as the receiver becabne ex- 
hausted ; and, when the gauge indicated a pressure between four 
and five times less than that of the atmosphere, was at its maxi- 
mum of size : it then gradually diminished below, but burned 
above, till the pressure was between seven and eight times less^ 
when it became extinguished. 

To ascertain whether the effect depended upon the deficiency 
of oxygen, I used a larger jet with the same apparatus, when 
the flame to my surprise burned longer, and when the atmosphere 
was rarefied ten times, and this in repeated trials. .When the 
larger jet was used, the point of the glass tube became white hot, 
and continued red hot till the flame was extinguished. It im- 
mediately occurred to me, that the heat communicated to the 
gas bv this tube, was the cause that the combustion continued 
longer in the last trials when the larger flame was used; and 
the following experiments confirmed the conclusion. A piece 
of wire of platinum was coiled round the top of the tube, so as to 
reach into ana above the flame. The jet of gas of 1 -6th of an 
inch in height was lighted and the exhaustion made ; the wire 
of platinum soon became white hot in the centre of the flame, 
and a small point of wire near the top fused : it continued white 
hot till the pressure was six times less, when it was ten times it 
continued red hot at the upper part, and, as long as it was dull 


Some new Researches on Flame. 5 

red, the gas though extinguished below, continued to burn in 
contact with the hot wire, and the combustion did not cease until 
the pressure was reduced thirteen times. 

It apj)ears from tins result, that the flame of hydrogen is ex- 
tinguished in rarefied atmospheres, only when the heat it pro- 
duces is insufficient to keep up the combustion, which appears 
to l)e when it is incapable of communicating visible ignition to 
metal; and as this is the temperature required for the inflamma- 
tion of hydrogen at conmion pressures, it appears that its oom- 
Imslihilihj is neither diminished nor increased by rarefaction 
from the removal of pressure. 

According to this view with respect to hydrogen, it should 
follow that amongst other combustible bodies, those which re- 
quire Ic-ast heat for their combustion, ought to burn in more 
rarefied air than those that require more heat, and those that 
produce much heat in their combustion ought to burn, other 
circumstances being the same, in more rarefied air than those 
that produce little heat: and every experiment I have made 
confirms these conclusions. Thus olefiant gas which approaches 
nearly to hydrogen in the heat produced by its combustion, and 
which docs not require a much higher temperature for its in- 
flammation, when its flame was made by a jet of gas from a 
bladder connected with a small tube furnished with a wire of 
platinum, under the same circumstances as hydrogen, ceased to 
burn when the pressure was diminished between ten and eleven 
times: and the flames of alcohol and of the wax taper which 
require a greater consumption of heat for the volatilization and 
decomposition of their combustible matter, were extinguished 
when the pressure was five or six times less without the wire of 
platinum, and seven or eight times less when the wire was kept 
in the flame. Light carburetted hydrogen, which produces, as 
will be seen hereafter, less heat in combustion than any of the 
common combustible gases, except carbonic oxide, and which 
requires a higher temperature for its inflammation than any other, 
had its flame extinguished, even though the tube was furnished 
with the wire v/hen the pressure was below l-4th. 

The flame of carbonic oxide which, though it produces little 
heat in combustion, is as inflammable as hydrogen, burned when 
the wire was used, the pressure being l-6th. 

The flame of sulphuretted hydrogen, the heat of which is in 
some measure carried off by the sulphur produced by its decom- 
position during its combustion in rare air, when burned in the 
same apparatus as tlie olefiant and other gases, was extinguished 
when the pressure was l-7th. 

Suljjhur, which recjnires a lower temperature for its combustion 
than any common inflammable substance, except phosphorus, 

A 3 b\irjied 

6 Some new "Researches on Flame. 

burned with a vcrv feeble blue flame in air rarefied fifteen times, 
and at this pressure the flame heated a wire of platinum to dull 
redness, nor was it extinguished till the pressure was reduced to 

Phosphorus, as has been shown by M. Van Marum, burns in 
an atmosphere rarefied sixty times : and I found that phosphu- 
rettcd hydrogen produced a flash of light when admitted into 
the l)est vacuum that could be made, by an excellent pump of 
Nairn's construction. 

The mixture of chlorine and hydrogen inflames at a much 
lower temperature than that of hydrogen and oxygen, and produces 
a considerable degree of heat in combustion ; it was therefore 
probable that it would bear a greater degree of rarefaction, with- 
out having its power of exploding destroyed ; and this 1 found 
in many trials is actually the case, contrary to tlie assertion of 
M, de Giotthus. Oxygen and hydrogen in the proportion to 
form water, will not explode by the electrical spark when rarefied 
eighteen times ; but hydrogen and chlorine in the proportion to 
form nuniatic acid gas, gave a distinct flash of light under the 
same circumstances, and they combined with visible inflamma- 
tion when the spark was passed through them, the exhaustion 
being to 1-2'Uh. 

The experiment on the flame of hydrogen with the wire of 
platinum, and wliich holds good with the flames of the other 
gases, shows, that by preserving heat in rarefied air, or giving 
heat to a mixture, inflammation may be continued when, under 
common circumstances, it would be extinguished. This I found 
Avas the case in other instances, when the heat was differently 
communicated: thus, when camphor was burned in a glass tube, 
so as to make the upper part of the tube red hot, the inflamma- 
tion continued when the rarefaction was nine times, whereas it 
would only continue in air rarefied six times, when it was burned 
in a thick metallic tube which could not be considerably heated 
by it. 

By l)ringing a little naphtha in contact with a red hot iron, 
it produceil a faint lambent flame, when there remained in the 
receiver only l-SOth of the original Cjuantity of air, though with- 
out foreign heat its flame was extinguished when the quantity 
was l-Gth. 

■* The tempeiotuK of tlic ntmosplicrc (iir.iiiiishcs in a certain ratio witlt 
its liei-^iir, wliic!) must bo attended to in the coniltisions respecting com- 
hlislion in tlie ujjpcr rci^ions oftliG atmosphere, and the elevation must be 
ijumew'liat loiver tliun in arithmetical progression, the pressure decreasing 
in iieoiiietrital prji;ression. 

lliere IS, iiinvc\er, every reason to believe, that the taper would be ex- 
tin;»uiahed at a hcii^lit of between nine anri ten miles, hydrogen between 
iwelvt; and thirtecit, and sulphur betwoeirfifteen and sixteen. 

I rarefieil 

Some new Researches on Flame. 7 

I rarefied a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen by the air-purap 
to about eighteen times, when it could not he inflamed by the 
eiectric spark. I then heated strongly the upper part of the 
tube till the glass began to soften, and passed the spark, when 
a feeble flash was oljserved not reaching far into the tube, the 
heated gases only appearing to enter into inflammation. This 
last experiment requires considerable care. If the exhaustion is 
much greater, or if the heat is raised very slowly*, it does not 
succeed ; and if the heat is raised so high as to make the glass 
luminous, the flash of light, which is extremely feeble, is not vi- 
sible : it is difficult to procure the proper degree of exhaustion, 
and to give the exact degree of heat ; I have, however, suc- 
ceeded three times in obtaining the results, and in one instance 
it was witnessed by Mr. Brande. 

To elucidate the inquiry still further, I made a series of ex- 
periments on the heat produced by some of the inflammable 
gases in combustion. In comparing the heat communicated to 
wires of platinum by flames of the same size, it was evident, that 
hydrogen and olefiant gas in oxygen, and hydrogen in chlorine, 
produced a much greater intensity of heat in combustion, than 
the other gaseous substances I have named burned in oxygen : 
but no regular scale could be formed from observations of this 
kind. I endeavoured to gain some approximations on the sub- 
ject by burning equal quantities of different gases under the same 
circumstances, and applying the heat to an apparatus by which 
it could be measured. For this purpose a mercurial gas-holder 
was furnished with a system of stop-cocks, terminating in a 
strong tube of platinum having a minute aperture. Above this 
was fixed a copper cup filled with olive oil, in which a thermo- 
meter was placed. Tiie oil was heated to 212° to prevent any 
differences in the communication of heat by the condensation of 
a(|ueous vapour ; the pressure was the same for the different 
gases, and they were consumed as nearly as possible in the same 
time, and the flame applied to the same point of the copper cup, 
the bottom of which was wiped after each experiment. 
The results were as follows : 
The flame from olefiant gas raised the thermometer to 270** 

■ hydrogen • . . . . . . . 23S 

• ■ sulphuretted hydrogen . . . . 232 

coal gas . . . . . . . . 236 

gaseous oxide of carbon .. .. 218 

The (juantities of oxygen consumed (that absorbed by the hy- 
drogen being taken as one) would be, supposing the combustion 
perfect, for the okfiant gas six, for the sulphuretted hydrogen 

• Tilt iLaboij will l»e obvious from what m btated in page 9. 

A 4 three. 

^ Some new Researches on Flame. 

three, for the carbonic oxide one. The coal gas contained only 
a very small proportion of defiant gas; supposing it to be pure 
carbnretted liydrogen, it would have consumed four of oxygen. 
Taking the elevations of temperature, and the quantities of oxy- 
gen consumed as the data, the ratios of the heat produced by 
the combustion of the different gases, would be for hydrogen 
twenty -six, forolefiant gas 9-6G, for sulphuretted hydrogen 6-66, 
for carburetted hydrogen six, for carbonic oxide six*. 

It will be useless to reason upon this ratio as exact, for char- 
coal was deposited both from the oleftant gas and coal gas during 
the experiment, and much sulphur was deposited from the sul- 
phuretted hydrogen ; and there is great reason to believe, that 
the capacities of fluids for heat increase with their temperature. 
It confirms, however, the general conclusions, and proves that 
hydrogen stands at the head of the scale, and gaseous oxide of 
carbon at the bottom. It might at first view be imagined that, 
according to this scale, the flame of carbonic oxide ought to be 
extinguished by rarefaction, at the same degree as that of car- 
buretted hydrogen ; but it must be remembered, as I have men- 
tioned in another place, that carbonic oxide is a much more 
combustible gas. Carbonic oxide inflames in the atmosphere 
when brought into contact with an iron wire heated to dull red- 
ness, whereas carburetted hydrogen is not inflammable by a si- 
milar wire, unless it is heated to whiteness so as to burn with 

II. On the Effects of Rarefaction hj Heat on Combustion and 
The results detailed in the preceding section are indirectly 
opposed to the opinion of Grotthus, that rarefaction by heat 
destroys the combustibility of gaseous mixtures. Before I made 
any direct experiments on this subject, I endeavoured to ascer- 
tain the degree of expansion which can be communicated to 
elastic fluids by the strongest heat that can be applied to glass 
■"■essels. For this purpose I introduced into a graduated curved 
glass tube some fusible metal. I heated the fusiljle metal and 
the portion of the tulie containing the air included by it, under 
boiling water for some time. I then placed the apparatus in a 
charcoal fire, and very gradually raised the temperature till tlie 
fusible metal appeared luminous when viewed in the shade. At 
this time the air had expanded so as to occupy 2*25 parts in tlic 
tube, it being one at the temperature of boiling water. Another 
, experiment was made in a thicker glass tube, and the heat was 

* Tlicsc results inay !ie compared with Mr. Diilton's new Svstciii of 
ClicinitalPlii!ofe'j()liy ; tlioy !ii;,roL' in showing thut liydrogen prodiKt'-) more 
heat in combustion than any v>i' ili) compounds. 


Some new Researches on Flame. ^ 

raised until the tube began to run together ; but though this 
heat appeared cherry rod, the expansion was not to more than 
2*5, and a part of this might perhaps have lieen apparent only, 
owing to the collapsing of the glass tu!)e before it actually melted. 
It may be supposed that the oxidation of the fusible metal may 
have had some effect in making the expansion appear less ; but 
in the first experiment the air was gradually brought back to its 
original temperature of boiling water, when the absorption was 
scarcely sensible. If M. Gay Lussac's conclusions be taken as 
the ground-work of calculation, and it be supposed that air ex- 
pands equally for equal increments of temperature, it would ap- 
pear that the temperature of air capable of rendering glass lu- 
minous must be 1035° Fahrenheit*. 

M. de Grotthus describes an experiment in which atmospheric 
air and hydrogen, expanded to four times their bulk over mer- 
cury by heat, would not inflame by tlie electric spark. It is 
evident, that in this experiment a large quantity of steam or of 
mercurial vapour must have been present, which, like other in- 
explosive elastic fluids, prevents combustion when mixed in cer- 
tain quantities with explosive mixtures; but though he seems 
aware that his gases were not drv, yet he draws his general con- 
clusion, that expansion bv heat destroys the explosive powers of 
gases, principally from this inconclusive experiment. 

I introduced into a small graduated tube over well boiled mer- 
cury, a mixture of two parts of hydrogen and one of oxygen, 
and heated the tube by a large spirit-lamp till the volume of the 
gas was increased from I to 2'5. I then, by means of a blow- 
pipe and another spirit-lamp, made the upper part of the tube 
red hot, when an explosion instantly took place. 

I introduced into a bladder a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, 
and connected this bladder with a thick glass tube of about 
l-6th of an inch in diameter and three feet long, curved so that 
it could be gradually heated in a charcoal furnace ; two spirit- 
lamps were placed under the tube where it entered the charcoal 
fire, and the mixture was very slowly pressed through: an ex- 
plo.'^ion took place before the tube was red hot. 

This experiment shows that expansion by heat, instead of di- 
minishing the combustibility of gases, on the contrary, enables 
them to explode apparently at a lower temperature, which seems 
perfectly reasonable, as a part of the heat communicated by any 
ignited body must be lost in gradually raising the temperature, 

* The iiiodp of ascertJiiniiiL' tpinpoiaturos as lii^h as the point of fusion 
of (»lass liy the cxpiiiision of iiir, srcnis more iinexccptionablo tlian nny 
other It t:ives for the point of vjsihle ignition nearly the same degree as 
tliiit deduced liy Newtun from the times of the cooling of ignited metal ia 
the atiuosphtre. 

I ma6<* 

10 So7ne new Researches on Flame. 

I made several other experiments which establish the same con- 
clubions. A mixture of common air and hydrogen was intro- 
duced into a small copper tube, having a stnpjier not quite tight ; 
the copper tube was placed in a i:havci)al fire : l)efore it became 
visibly red an explo.sion took place, and the stopper was driven 

I made various experiments on explosions by passing mixtures 
of hvdrogen and oxygen tinough heated tubes : in the beginning 
of one of these trials, in which the heat was much below redness, 
steam appeared to be formed without any combustion. This led 
Bie to expose mixtures of oxygen and hydrogen in tubes, in which 
thev were confined by fluid fusible metal to heat ; and I found 
that by carefully applying a heat between the boiling point of 
niercurv, which is not suflicient for the eifect, and a heat ap- 
proaching to the greatest heat that can be given without making 
glass luminous in darkness, the combination was effected without 
anv violence, and without any light: and commencing with 212-, 
the volume of steam formed at the point of combination appeared 
exactly ecptal to that of the original gases. So that the first 
effect ill experiments of this kind is an expansion, afterwards a 
contraction, and then the restoration of the primitive volume. 

If when this change is going on, the heat be quickly raised to 
redness, an explosion takes place ; but with small quantities of 
gas the change is completed in less than a minute. 

It is probable, that the slow combination without combustion, 
already long ago observed with respect to hydrogen and chlorine, 
oxygen and metals, will happen at certain temperatures with 
most su!)stances that unite by heat. On trying charcoal, I 
found that at a temperature which appeared to be a little above 
the boiling point of ijuicksilver, it converted oxygen pretty rapidly 
into carl)onic acid, without any luminous appearance, and at a 
dull red heat, the elements of olefiant gas combined in a similar 
manner with oxygen, slowly and without explosion. 

The effect of the slow combination of oxygen and hydrogen 
is not connected with their rarefaction by heat, for I found that 
it took place when the gases were confined in a tube by fusible 
metal rendered solid at its upper surface; and certainly as rapidly, 
and without any appearance of light. 

M. de Grotthus h;is stated, that, if a glowing coal be brought 
into contact with p mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, it only 
rarefies them, but does not explode them ; but this depends 
upon the degree of heat communicated by* the coal : if it is red 
in dav-light and free from ashes, it uniformly explodes the mix- 
ture ;" if its redness is barely visible in shade, it will not explode 
them, but cause their slow combination: and the general phae- 
nomenon is wholly unconnected with rarefaction, as is shown by 


Some ?iew Researches on Flame, 1 1 

the following circumstance. When the heat is greatest, and 
before the invisible combination is completed, if an iron wire 
heated to whiteness be placed upon the coal within the vessel, 
the mixture instantly explodes. 

Light carbnretted hydrogen, or pure fire-damp, as Isas been 
shown, recpiires a very strong heat for its inflammation; it there- 
fore offered a good substance for an experiment on the effect of 
liigh degrees of rarefaction by heat on combustion. I mixed to- 
gether one part of this gas and eight parts of air, and introduced 
them into a bladder furnished with a capillary tube. I heated 
this tube till it began to melt, and then slowly passed the mix- 
ture through it into the fiame of a spirit-lamp, when it took fire 
and burned with its own peculiar explosive light beyond the 
flame of the lamp, and when withdrawn, though the aperture 
was quite white hot, it continued to burn vividly. 

That the compression in one part of an explosive mixture 
produced by the sudden expansion of another part by heat, or 
the electric spark, is not the cause of combination, as has been 
supposed by Dr. Higgins, M. Berthollet, and others, ap[)ears to 
be evident from what has been stated, and it is rendered still 
more so by the following facts. A mixture of hydro-phosphoric 
gas (bi-phosphuretted hydrogen gas) and oxygen, which explode 
at a heat a little above that of boiling water, was confined by 
mercury, and very gradually heated on a sand-bath: when the 
temperature of the mercury was 242°, the mixture exploded. 

A similar mixture was placed in a receiver communicating with 
a condensing syringe, and condensed over mercury till it oc- 
cupied only i-5tli of its original volume. No explosion took 
place, and no chemical change had occurred; for when its volume 
was restored, it was instantly exploded by the spirit-lamp. 

It would appear, then, that the heat given out by the com- 
pression of gases is the real cause of the combustion which it 
produces, and that at certain elevations of temperature, whether 
in rarefied or compressed atmospheres, explosion or combustion 
occurs, ?'. e. bodies combine with the production of heat and 

Ill, On the Effects of the Mixture of different Gases in Ex.- 
plosion and Combustion, 

In my first paper on the fire-damp of coal mines, I have tnen- 
tioned that carbonic acid gas has a greater power of destroying 
the explosive power of mixtures of fire-damp and air than azote, 
ami I have ventured to suppose the cause to be its greater den- 
sity and capacity for heat, in consequence of which it might exert 
a greater cooling agency, and prevent the temperature of the 
mixture from being raised to that degree necessary for com- 

12 Some neiv Researches on Flame. 

hiistion. I have lately made a series of experiments w!ih tlie 
view of determining iiovv far this idea is correct, and for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the general phssnomena of the effects of the 
mixture of gaseous suhstances upon explosion and combustion. 

I took gi\c:i volumes of a mixture of two parts of hydrogen 
and one part of oxygen by measure, and diluting them with va- 
rious ([uantities of ditferent elastic fluids, I ascertained at what 
degree of dilution the power of inflammation by a strong spark 
from a Leyclen phial was destroyed. I found that for one of 
the mixture inflammation was prevented by 

Of Hydrogen, about . . . . . . 8 

Oxygen . . . . . . . . 9 

Nitrons oxide . . . . ..II 

Carburetted hydrogen . . . . I 

Sulphuretted hydrogen . . . . 2 

Olefiant gas . . . . . . | 

Muriatic acid gas . . . . . . 2 

8ilicated fluoric acid gas . . . . -g- 

luflamniation took place when the mixtures contained of 
Hydrogen . . . . . . . . G 

Oxygen . . . . . . . . 7 

Nitrous oxide . . . . . . 10 

Carburetted hydrogen . . . . | 

Olefiant gas . . . . . . i 

Sulphuretted hydrogen .. .. 1| 

Muriatic acid gas .. .. ,, ly 

Fluoric acid gas . . . . . . | 

I hope to be able to repeat these experiments with more pre- 
cision at no distant time ; the results are not sufficiently exact 
to lay the foundation for any calculations on the relative cooling 
powers of equal volumes of the gases; but they show sufliicientl}', 
if the conclusions of MM. de la Roche and Berard be correct, 
that other causes, besides density and capacity for heat, inter- 
fere with the phaenomena. Thus nitrous oxide, which is nearly 
l-3d denser than oxygeit, and which, according to De la Roche 
and Berard, has a greater capacity for heat in the ratio of 1-3503 
to •9765 in volume, has lower powers of preventing explosion ; 
and hydrogen, which is fifteen times lighter than oxygen, and 
•which in equal volumes has a smaller capacity for heat, certainly 
has a higher power of preventing explosion ; and olefiant gas 
exceeds all other gaseous substances in a much higher ratio 
than could have been expected from its density and capacity. 
The olefiant gas I used was recently made, and might have con- 
tained some vapour of ether, and the nitrous oxide was mixed 
with some azote, but these slight causes could not have interfered 
with the results to any considerable extent. 


Some new Researches on Flame. 13 

Mv Leslie in his elaborate and ingenious researches on heat 
hasobserv d'the high powers of hydro|en of abstracUng hea 
frmn'ol I bodies, as compared with that of common au^and 
0^^^; I "Kulea fewexperin^entson the companson of he 

nitrous oxide gas, hydrogen, oxygen, azote, and aa, at equal 
temperatures, 52° Fahrenheit. 

The times required for coohng to lOo'' vvere tor 

.. ^ 2'0" 1 Oxvgen .. •• 1-47 

Hdro.en* " " "45 Nitrous oxide^ .. 2-3U-2-0O 

KaTgas :: :: l- carbonic add gas^-^ 2-45 

Coal gas .... -^ jChlorn^e .... 3 6 

^'u appears f^om these ;;pcriments, that ^ ^^'^ /^J^f^^ 
duids to abstract or conduct away heat Irom solid surfaces, . m 
1 inverse ratio to their density, and that tl-- is sojnethins 
in the constitution of the light gases which enables them o 
carry off heat from solid surfaces in a different manner fiom that 
Tl\l they would abstract it in gaseous m.xtmes, depending 
■"obablv upon the mobiiitv of their partsf. The heating of 
Cseou Jdia bv the conractof fluid or solid bodies, as has been 
sho v" b Count-Rumford, depends principally upon the change 
of place' of their particle.; and it is evident from he results 
Stated in the beginning of this sec tion, ti,at these P^'^df s ^^^^ 
different powert or abstracting heat analogous to the d,iterent . 

"vers of solids and fiaids. Where an elastic fluid exerts a 
'cooVmg influence on a solid surface, the effect must depend pnn. 
cipallv upon the ra]nditv with which its particles change their 
plac s : but where the cooling particles are mixed throughout a 
ma^s with other ga^eoiis particles, their effect must prmopa y 
depend upon the power they possess of rapidly abstractuig l^t 
from tl/ contiguous parcicles ; and this ^^-^^ ^Y'tXtl^. 
upon two causes, the simple abstracting power by uluch they 
become quickly heated, and their capacity tor heat, which .g.e.t 
i„ propotion as their temperatures are less raised by this abs- 
traction. . , r. It 

. These two lust results were ..Uservcd by Mr. Faradav ,.t tl-JJ<'y"n'> 
.titution, (from whom I .nucl> uselu uss,suu,ce .n ,no,t ot my cx- 
nPi inieiits ^ wlieii t was absent iVo.n the Laboratory. 

^t Those pa tides which arc lightest must be eouceued most capable of 
dnn^rnKPla e, and wonld tl.crefo.c cool sol.d surh.ccs most rap.dly: m 
tic col.g of gaseous mixtures, the mobil.ty of tl>e parUclcs can be of Ut- 
ile conscriueuce. _ Whatever 

14 Somd new Researches on Flame. 

Whatever be the cause of the different cooling powers of the 
different elastic fluids in preventiiig inflammation, very simple 
experiments show that they operate uniformly with respect to 
the different species of combustion, and that those explosive mix- 
tures, or inflammable bodies, which require least heat for their 
combustion, require larger quantities of the different gases to 
prevent the effect, and vice versa ; thus one of chlorine and one 
of hydrogen still inflame when mixed with eighteen times their 
bulk of oxygen, whereas a mixture of carliuretted hydrogen and 
oxygen in the proper proportions for combinations, one and two, 
have their inflammation prevented by less than three times their 
volume of oxygen. 

A wax taper was instantly extinguished in air mixed with 1 - 10th 
of silicated fluoric acid gas, and in air mixed with 1 -6th of mu- 
riatic acid gas ; but the flame of hydrogen burned readily in 
those mixtures, and in mixtures in which the flame of hydrogen 
was extinguished, the flame of sulphur burned. 

There is a very simple experiment which demonstrates in an 
elegant manner this general principle. Into a long bottle with 
a narrow neck introduce a lighted taper, and let it burn till it is 
extinguished ; carefully sto]) the bottle, and introduce another 
lighted taper, it will be extinguished before it reaches the bottom 
of the neck; then introduce a small tube containing zinc and 
diluted sulphuric acid, and at the aperture of which the hydro- 
gen is inflamed ; the hydrogen will be found to burn in whatr.ver 
part of the bottle the tube is placed : after the hydrogen is ex- 
tinguished, introduce lighted sulphur; this will burn for some 
time, and after its extinction, phosphorus will be as luminous as 
in the air, and, if heated in the bottle, will produce a pale yel- 
low flame of considerable density. 

In cases when the heat required for chemical tmion is very 
small, as in the instance of hydrogen and chlorine, a mixture 
which prevents inflammation will not prevent combination, i. e. 
the gases will combine without any flash. This I witnessed in 
mixing two vohunes of carburetted hydrogen with one of chlorine 
and hydrogen ; muriatic acid was formed throughout the mix- 
ture, and heat produced, as was evident from the expansion when 
the spark passed, and the rapid contraction afterwards, but the 
heat w-as so quickly carried off by the quantity of carburetted 
hydrogen that no flash was visible." 

In the case of phosphorus, which is combustible f»t the lowest 
temperature of the atmosphere, no known admixture of elastic 
fluid prevents the luminous appearance ; but this seems to de- 
pend upon the light being limited to the solid particles of phos- 
phoric acid formed ; whereas to produce flame, a certain mass 
of elastic fluid must be luminous ; and there is every reason to 


Some new Researches on Flame. 15 

Relieve, that when phosphuretted hydrogen explodes in very rare 
air, it is only the phosphorus which is consumed. Any other 
substance that produces solid matter in combustion would pro- 
h;il)ly be luminous in air as rare, or in mixtuies as diluted, as 
phosphorus, provided the heat was elevated sufficiently for its 
combustion. I have found tliat this is actually the case with 
respect to zinc. 1 threw sosne zinc filings into an ignited iron 
crucible fixed on the stainl of an air-pump under a receiver, and 
exhausted until only l-60th of the original quantity of air re- 
mained. When I judged that the red hot cri:cible must be full 
of the vapour of zinc, I admitted about l-80th more of air, 
wlien a bright flash of light took place in and above the cruci- 
ble, similar to that which is produced by admitting air to the 
vapo\ir of phosphorus in vacuo. 

The cooling power of mixtures of elastic fluids in preventing 
combustion must increase with their condensation, and diminish 
with their rarefaction ; at the same time, the quantity of matter 
entering into combustion in given spaces, is relatively increased 
and diminished. The experiments on flame in rarefied atmo- 
spherical air, show that the quantity of heat produced in com- 
bustion is verv slowly diminished l>y rarefaction, the diminution 
of the cooling power of tlie azote being apparently in a higher 
ratio than the diminution of the heating powers of the burning 
bodies. I endeavoured to ascertain what would be the effect o( 
condensation oJi flame in atmospheric air, and Vvhethcr the cool- 
ing power of the azote v.ouid increase in a lower ratio, as might 
be expected, than the heat proH.uccd by the increase of the quan- 
tity of matter entering into combustion ; but I found consider- 
able difficulties in making the experiments with precision. I 
ascertained, however, that both the light and heat of the flarnes 
of the taper, of sulphur and hydrogen, were increased by acting 
nu them by air condensed four times ; but not more than they 
would have been by an addition of l-5th of oxygen. 

I condensed air nearly five times, and ignited iron wire to 
whiteness in it by the voltaic apparatus; but the combustion took 
place with very little more brightness than in the common at- 
mosphere, and would not continue as in oxygen, nor did char- 
coal burn much more brigiitly in this compressed air than in 
common air. I intend to repeat these experiments, if possible, 
with higher condensing powers: they show sufliciently that (for 
certain limits at least) as rarefaction does not diminish consider- 
ably the heat of flame in atmosjiherical air, so neither docs con- 
densation considerably increase it; a circumstance of great im- 
portance in the constitution of our atmosphere, which at all the 
heights or depths at wiiicli man can exist still preserves the 

.same relations to combustion. 


1 6 Sorne new Researches on "Flame. 

It may be concluded from the general law, that at high tem- 
peratures, gases not concerned in combustion will have less 
powers of preventing that operation, and likewise, that steam 
and vapours, which require a considerable heat for their forma- 
tion, will have less effect in preventing combustion, particularly 
of those bodies requiring low temperatures, than gases at the 
common heat of the atmosphere. 

I have made some experiments on the effects of steam, and 
their results were conformable to these views. I found that a 
very large quantity of steam was necessary to prevent sulphur 
from burning. Oxygen and hydrogen exploded by the electric 
spark when mixed with five times their volume of steam ; and 
even a mixture of air and carburetted hydrogen gas, the least 
explosive of all mixtures, required a third of steam to prevent its 
explosion, whereas l-5th of azote produced the effect. These 
trials were made over mercury; heat was applied to water above 
the mercury, and 37*5 for 100 parts was regarded as the cor- 
rection for the expansion of the gases. 

It is probable that with certain heated mixtures of gases, where 
the non-supporting or non-inflammable elastic fluids are in great 
quantities, combination with oxygen will take place, as in the 
instance mentioned, page 14, of hydrogen and chlorine, with- 
out any light, for the temperature produced will not be sufficient 
to render elastic media luminous ; and there are no combustions, 
except those of the compounds of phosphorus and the metals, 
in which solid matters are the result of combinations with oxy- 
gen. I have shown in the paper referred to in the introduction, 
that the light of common flames depends almost entirely upon 
the deposition, ignition and combustion of solid charcoal ; but 
to produce this deposition from gaseous substances demands a 
high temperature. Phosphorus, which rises in vapour at com- 
mon temperatures, and the vapour of which combines with oxv^ 
gen at those temperatures, as I have mentioned before, is always 
luminous, for each particle of acid formed must, there is every 
reason to believe, be white hot ; but so few of these particles 
exist in a given space that they scarcely raise the temperature 
of a solid body exposed to tbem, though, as in the rapid com- 
bustion of phosphorus, where immense numbers are existing in 
a small space, they produce a most intense heat. 

In all cases the quantity of heat communicated by combustion, 
will be in proportion to the quantity of burning matter coming 
in contact with the body to be heated. Thus, the blow-pipe and 
currents of air operate. In the atmosphere, the effect is im- 
peded by the mixture of azote, though still it is very great : with 
pure oxygen compression produces an immense effect, and with 
currents of oxygen and hydrogen^ there is every reason to believe 



of tl 
the r 
the n' 
out ai 
to rev. 
in wh 
that t 
the df 
to i^ro 
high 1 
inon t 
gen at 
exist i 
of a s 
a sinal 
In a 
will be 
in cont 
peded 1 
pure o> 

So7ne new "Researches on Flame. 1 7 

that solid matters are made to attain the temperature of the 
flame. This temperature, however, evidently presents the limit 
to experiments of this kind; for bodies exposed to flame can never 
be hotter than flame itself; whereas in the Voltaic apparatus 
there seems to be no limit to the heat, except the volatilization 
of the conductors. 

The temperatures of flames are probably very difl^erent. Where, 
in chemical changes, there is no change of volume, as in th6 
instance of the mutual action of chlorine and hydrogen, prussie 
gas (cyanogen) and oxygen, approximations to their tempera- 
tures may be gained from the expansion in explosion. 

I have made some experiments of this kind by detonating the 
gases by the electrical spark in a curved tube containing mercury 
or water ; and I judged of the expansion from the quantity of 
fluid thrown out of the tube : the resistance opposed by mercury, 
and its great cooling powers, rendered the results very unsatis- 
factory in the cases in which it was used ; but with water, cy- 
anogen and oxygen being employed, they were more conclusive. 
Cyanogen and oxygen, in the proportion of one to two, detonated 
in a tube of about 2-5tlis of an inch in diameter, displaced a quan- 
tity of water which demonstrated an expansion of fifteen times 
their original bulk. This would indicate a temperature of above 
5000° of Fahrenlieit, and the real temperature is probably much 
higher ; for heat must be lost by communication to the tube and 
the water. The heat of tlie gaseous carbon in combustion in this 
gas, appears more intense tlian that of hydrogen ; for I found a 
filament of platinmn was fused by a flame of cyanogen in the air 
which was not fused by a similar flame of hydrogen. 

IV. Some gnneral Observations, and practical Inferences. 

The knowledge of the cooliue power of elastic media in pre- 
venting the explosion of the fire-damp, led me to those practical 
researches which terminated in the discovery of the wire-gauze 
safe-lamp; and the general investigation of the relation and 
extent of these powers serves to elucidate the operation of wire- 
gauze and other tissues or svstems of apertures permeable to 
light and air, in intercepting flame, and confirms the views I 
originally gave of the phifnomenon. 

Flame is gaseous matter heated so highly as to be luminous, 
and that to a degree of temperature beyond the white heat of 
solid bodies, as is shov/n bv the circumstance, that air not lu- 
minous will communicate this degree of heat*. When an at- 
tempt is made to pass flame through a very fine mesh of wire- 

* This is proicd liy the simple experiment of holdiii}; a fine wire of pla- 
tinum aiiout the l-2bth of an inch from the exterior of the middle of the 
flame of a bpirit-iarap, and concealin<; the flame by an opaque body. Tiie 
wire will become white hot in a space where there is no visible light. 

Vol. 50. No. 231. July 1817. B gauise 

18 Some new Researches on Flame. 

gauze at the common temperature, the gauze cools each portion 
of the elastic matter that passes through it, so as to reduce its 
temperature below that degree at which it is luminous, and the 
diminution of temperature must be proportional to the smallness 
of the mesh and the mass of the metal. The power of a metal- 
lic or other tissue to prevent explosion, will depend upon the 
heat required to produce the combustion as compared with that 
acquired by the tissue ; and the flame of the most inflammable 
substances, and of those that produce most heat in combustion, 
will pass through a metallic tissue that will interrupt the flame 
of less inflammable substances, or those that produce little heat 
in combustion. Or the tissue being the same, and impermeable 
to all flames at common temperatures, the flames of the most 
combustible substances, and of those which produce most heat,will 
most readilv pass through it when it is heated, and each will 
pass through it at a difl^erent degree of temperature. In short, 
all the circumstances which apply to the effect of cooling mix- 
tures upon flame, will apply to cooling perforated surfaces. Thus, 
the flame of phosphuretted hydrogen at common temperatures, 
will pass through a tissue sufficiently large not to be immediately 
choked up by the phos})horic acid formed, and the phosphorus 
deposited*. A tissue of 100 apertures to the square inch, made 
of wire of I 60th, will at common temperatures intercept the 
flame of a spirit-lamp but not that of hydrogen ; and when 
strongly heated, it will no longer arrest the flame of the spirit- 
lamp. A tissue which will not interrupt the flame of hydrogen 
when red hot, will still intercept that of olefiant gas; and a heated 
tissue which would communicate explosion from a mixture of 
olefiant gas and air, will stop an explosion from a mixture of 
lire-damp, or carburetted hydrogen. 

The ratio of the combustibility of the different gaseous matters 
is likewise to a certain extent as the masses of heated matter 
required to inflame themf . Thus an iron wire of l-40th of an 
inch heated cherry red, will not inflame olefiant gas, but it will 
inflame hydrogen gas ; and a wire of 1-Sth, heated to the same 
degree, will inflame olefiant gas ; but a wire of l-500dth must 
be heated to whiteness to inflame hydrogen, though at a low red 
heat it will inflame bi-phosphuretted gas; but wire of i-40th 

* If a tissue contaimrij; above 700 apertuips to the square inch be held 
over the flarae of phosphorus or phosphuretted hydrof;en, it docs not trans- 
mit the flame till it is sufficiently heated to enable the phosphorus to pass 
through it in vapour. Phosphuretted hydrogen is decomposed in flume, 
and acts exactly hke phosphorus. 

t It appeared to me in these experiments, that the worst conducting and 
best radiating substances required to be heated higher for equal masses to 
produce the same eft'ect upon the gases: thus, red hot charcoal had evi- 
dcntJ_y less power of inflaramatiou than red hot iron. 


Sotne new Researches on Flame. 19 

heated even to whiteness will not inflame mixtures of fire- 

These circumstances will explain, why a mesh of wire so much 
finer is reriuired to prevent the explosion from hydrogen and 
oxygen from passing, and whv so coarse a texture and wire is 
sufficient to prevent the explosion of the fire-damp, fortunately 
the least combustible of the known inflammable gases. 

The general doctrine of the operation of wire-gauze cannot 
be better elucidated than in its effects upon the flame of sulphur. 
When wire-gauze of 600 or 700 apertures to the square inch is 
held over the flame, fumes of condensed sulphur immediately 
come throuoh it, and the flame is intercepted; the fumes con- 
tinue for some instants, but as the heat increases they diminish; 
and at the moment they disappear, which is long before the gauze 
becomes red hot, the flame passes; the temperature at which 
sulphur burns being that at which it is gaseous. 

Another very simple illustration of the truth of this view is 
offered in the effect of the cooling agency of metallic surfaces 
upon very small flames. Let the smallest possible flame be made 
by a single thread of cotton immersed in oil, and burning im- 
mediately upon the surface of the oil: it will be found to be 
about l-.'^Oth of an inch in diameter. Let a fine iron wire of 
1-1 80th be made into a circle of 1-lOth of an inch in diameter, 
and brought over the flame. Though at such a distance, it will 
instantly extinguish the flame, if it be cold: but if it be held above 
the flame, so as to be slightly heated, the flame may be passed 
through it without being extinguished. That the effect depends 
entirely upon the power of the metal to abstract the heat of 
flame, is sho>vn by bringing a glass capillary ring of the same 
diameter and size over the flame ; this being a much worse con- 
ductor of heat, will not extinguish it even when cold. If its 
size however be made greater, and its circumference smaller, it 
will act like the metallic wire, and re^juire to be heated to pre- 
vent it from extinguishing the flame*. 

Suppose a flame divided by the wire-gauze into smaller flames, 
each flame must be extinguished in passing its aperture till that 
aperture has attained a temperature sufficient to produce the 
permanent combustion of the explosive mixture. 

A flame of sulphur may be made much smaller than that of 
hydrogen, that of hydrogen smaller than that of a wick fed with 

* Let a small ftlobe of metal l-20th of an inch in dianietrT made by 
fusing the end of a wire be bronght near a flanio of l-30th in diameter, it 
will extinguish it when cold at the distance of its own diameter; let it be 
Jieatcd, and the distance will diminish at which it produces the extinction; 
and at a white heat it does not extinguish it by actual contact, though at a 
dull red heat it immediately produces the effect. 

B 2 oil. 

20 Sotne new Researches on Flame. 

oil, and that of a wick fed with oil smaller than that of car- 
buretted hydrogen ; and a ring of cool wire which instantly ex- 
tinguishes the flame of carburetted hydrogen, only slightly di- 
minishes the size of a flame of sulphur of the same dimensions. . 
Where rapid currents of explosive mixtures are made to act 
upon wire-gauze, it is of course much more rapidly heated ; and 
therefore the same mesh which arrests the flames of explosive 
mixtures at rest, will suflfer them to ])ass when in rapid motion ; 
but by iucreashig the cooling surface by diminishing the size, or 
increasing the depth of the aperture, all Jiames^ however rapid 
their motion, may be arrested. Precisely the same law applies 
to explosions acting in close vessels : very minute apertures when 
they are only few in number will permit explosions to pass, which 
are arrested bv much larger apertures when they fill a whole 
surface. A small aperture was drilled at the bottom of a wire- 
gauze lamp in the cylindrical ring which confines the wire-gauze; 
this, though less than 1-1 8lh of an inch in diameter, passed the 
flame and fired the external atmosphere, in consequence of the 
whole force of the explosion of the thin stratum of the mixture 
included within the cylinder driving the flame through the aper- 
ture ; though, had the whole ring been composed of such aper- 
tures separated bv wires, it would have been perfectly safe. 

Nothing can demonstrate more decidedly than these simple 
facts and observations, that the interruption of flame by solid 
tissues permeable to light and air, depends upon no recondite or 
mysterious cause, but to their cooHng powers, simply considered 
as such. 

When a light included in a cage of wire-gauze is introduced 
into an explosive atmosphere of fire-damp at rest, the maximum 
of heat is soon obtained; the radiating power of the wire, and 
the cooling effect of the atmosphere, more eflicient from the 
mixture of infiammal)Ie air, prevent it from ever arriving at a 
temperature equal to that of dull redness. In rapid currents of 
explosive mixtures of fire-damp, which heat conunon gauze to a 
higher temperature, twilled gauze, in v;hich the radiating sur- 
face is considerably greater, and the circulation of air less, pre- 
serves an equal temperature. Indeed the heat communicated 
to the wire by combustion of the fire-damp in wire-gauze lamps, 
is completely in the power of the manufacturer; for by diminish- 
ing the apertures and increasing the mass of metal, or the ra- 
diating surface, it m ly be diminished to any extent. 

I have lately had lamps made of thick twilled gauze of wires 
of l-40th, sixteen to the warp, and thirty to the weft, which 
being riveted to the screw, cannot be displaced ; from its flexi- 
bility it cannot be broken, and from its strength cannot be 
crushed, except by a very strong blow. 


Some new Researches cm Flame. 21 

Even in the common lamps the flexibility of the material has 
been found of great importance ; and I could quote one mstanee 
of a dreadful accident having been prevented, which must have 
happened had any other material than wire-gauze been employed 
in the construction of the lamp : and how little difficulty has oc- 
curred in the practical application of the invention, is shown by 
the circumstance, that it has been now for ten months m the 
hands of hundreds of common miners in the most dangerous 
mines in Britain, during which time not a single accident has 
occurred where it has iieen emploved, whilst in other mines, much 
less dangerous, where it has not yet been adopted, some lives 
have been lost, and many persons burned. 

The facts stated in Section II. explain why so much more heat 
is obtained from fuel when it is burnt quickly; and they show 
that in all cases the temperature of the acting bodies should be 
kept as high as possible, not only because the general increment 
of heat is greater, but likewise, because those combitiations are 
prevented which at lower temperatures take place without any 
considerable production of heat:— thus, in the Argand lamp, the 
Liverpool lamp, and in the best fire-places, the increase of ef- 
fect does not depend merely upon the rapid current of air, but 
likewise upon the heat preserved by the arrangements of the 
materials of the chimney, and communicated to the matters en- 
tering into inflammation. 

These facts likewise explain the methods by which tempera- 
lure may be increased, and the limit to certain methods. Cur- 
rents of' flame, as it was stated in the last section, can never 
raise the heat of bodies exposed to them, higher than a certain 
degree, their own temperature ; but by compression, there can 
l.e no doubt, the heat of flames from pure supporters and com- 
bustible matter may be greatly increased, probably m the ratio 
of their compression. In the blow-pipe of oxygen and hydro- 
gen, the maximum of temperature is close to the aperture from 
which the gases are disengaged, i.e. where their density is 
greatest. Prohablv a degree of temperature far beyond any that 
has been yet attained may be produced by throwing the flame 
from compressed oxvgen and livdrogen into the Voltaic arc, and 
thus combining the two most powerful agents for increasing 

temperature. . , . , , 

The circumstances mentioned in this paper,combined with those 
noticed in the paper on flame printed in Mr.Brande's Journal ot 
Science and the Arts, explain the nature of the light of flames 
and their form. When in flames pure gaseous matter is burnt, 
the light is extremely feeble: the density of a common flame is 
proportional to the <iuantity of solid charcoal first deposited and 
afterwards burnt. The form of the flame is conical, because the 

li 3 greatest 

22 Experiments and Olservatmis 

greatest heat is in the centre of the explosive mixture. In 
looking steadfastly at flame, the part where the combustible mat- 
ter is volatilized is seen, and it appears dark, contrasted with the 
part in which it begins to burn, that is where it is so mixed with 
air as to become explosive. The heat diminishes towards the 
top of the flame, because in this part the quantity of oxygen is 
least. When the wick increases to a considerable size from 
collecting charcoal, it cools the flame by radiation, and prevents 
a proper quantity of air from mixing with its central part ; in 
consequence, the charcoal thrown off from the top of the flame 
is only red hot, and the greater part of it escapes unconsnmed. 

The intensity of the light of flames in the atmosphere is in- 
creased by condensation, and diminished by rarefaction, appa- 
rently in a higher ratio than their heat ; more panicles capable 
of emitting light exist in the denser atmospheres, and yet most 
of these particles, in becoming capable of emitting light, absorb 
heat ; which could not be the case in the condensation of a pure 
supporting medium. 

The facts stated in Section I. show that the luminous appear- 
ances of shooting stars and meteors cannot be owing to any in- 
flammation of elastic fluids, but must depend upon the ignition 
of solid bodies. Dr. Halley calculated the height of a meteor 
at ninety miles, and the great American meteor which threw 
down showers of stones was estimated at seventeen miles high. 
The velocity of motion of these bodies must in all cases be im- 
mensely great, and the heat produced by the compression of the 
most rarefied air from the velocity of motion must be probably 
sufficient to ignite the mass ; and all the phaenomena may be 
explained, ii Jailing stars be supposed to be small solid bodies 
moving round the earth in very eccentric orbits, which become 
ignited only when they pass with immense velocity through the 
upper regions of the atmosphere, and if the meteoric bodies which 
throw down stones with explosions be supposed to be similar 
bodies which contain either combustible or elastic matter. 

Cobhara-hall, Kent, Jan. 8, 1817. 

Some new Experiments and Olservations on the Comlustion of 
Gaseous Mixtures, &c. 

In a paper read before the Royal Society at their last two 
meetings, I have desc-ibed the pheenomena of the slow com- 
bustion of hydrogen and olefiant gas without flame. In the same 
paper I have shown, that the temperature of flame is infinitely 
higher than that necessary for the ignition of solid bodies. It 
appeared to me, therefore, probable, that in certain combinations 
of gaseous bodies, for instance, those above referred to, when 


071 the Comlmthn of Gaseous Mixtures. 23 

the increase of temperature was not sufficient to render the 
gaseous matters themselves luminous ; yet still it might be 
adequate to ignite solid matters exposed to them. I had de- 
vised several experiments on this subject. I had intended to 
expose fine wires to oxygen and olefiant gas, and to oxygen 
and hydrogen during their slow combination under different cir- 
cumstances, when 1 was accidentally led to the knowledge of the 
fact, and, at the same time, to the discovery of a new and cu- 
rious series of phaenomena. 

I was making experiments on the increase of the limits of the 
combustibility of gaseous mixtures of coal gas and air by in- 
crease of temperature. For this purpose, I introduced a small 
wire-gauze safe-lamp with some fine wire of platinum fixed 
above the flame, into a combustible mixture containing the 
maximum of coal gas; and when the inflammation had taken 
place in the wire-gauze cylinder, I threw in more coal gas, ex- 
pecting that the heat acquired by the mixed gas in passing 
through the wire-gauze would prevent the excess from extin- 
guishing the flame. The flame continued for two or three se- 
conds after the coal gas was introduced; and when it was ex- 
tinguished, that part of the wire of platinum which had been 
hottest remained ignited, and continued so for many minutes, 
and when it was removed into a dark room, it was evident that 
there was no flame in the cylinder. 

It was immediately obvious that this was the result which I 
had hoped to attain bv other methods, and that the oxygen and 
coal gas in contact with the hot wire combined without flame, 
and yet produced heat enough to preserve the wire ignited, and 
to keep up their own combustion. I proved the truth of this 
conclusion by making a similar mixture, heating a fine wire of 
platinum and introducing it into the mixture. It immediately 
became ignited nearly to whiteness, as if it had been itself in 
actual combustion, and continued glowing for a long while; and 
when it was extinguished, the inflammability of the mixture was 
found entirely destroyed. 

A temperature much below ignition only was necessary for 
"producing this curious phaenomenon, and the wire was repeatedly 
taken out and cooled in the atmosphere till it ceased to be visibly 
red ; and yet when admitted again, it instantly became red hot. 

The same phaenomena were produced with mixtures of olefiant 
gas and air, carbonic oxide, prussic gas and hydrogen, and in 
the last case with a rapid production of water ; and the degree 
of heat I foimd could be regulated by the thickness of the wire. 
The wire, when of the same thickness, became more ignited in 
hydrogen than in mixtures of olefiant gas, and more in mixtures 
of oknant gas than in those of gaseous oxide of carbon. 

B 4 When 

2-1 Experiincnls and OhervaLions 

Whien the wire was very fine, aljout the KSOtli of an inch in 
diameter, its heat increased in very combustible mixtures, so as 
to explode them. The same wire in less combustible mixtures 
only continued bright red, or dull red, according to the nature 
of the mixture. 

In mixtures not explosive by flame within certain limits, these 
curious phtenomena took place whether the air or the inflamma- 
ble gas was in excess. 

The same circumstance occurred with certain inflammable 
vapours. I have tried those of ether, alcohol, oil of turpentine 
and naphtha. There cannot be a better mode of illustrating the 
fact, than by an experiment on the vapour of ether or of alcohol, 
which any person may make in a minute. Let a drop of ether 
be thrown into a cold glass, or a drop of alcohol into a warm 
one. Let a few coils of wire of platinum of the l-60th or l-70th 
of an inch be heated at a hot poker or a candle, and let it be 
brought into the glass ; it will in some part of the glass become 
glowing, almost white hot, and will contituie so as long as a 
sufficient quantity of vapour and of air remain in the glass. 

When the experiment on the slow combustion of ether is made 
in the dark, a pale phosphorescent light is perceived above the 
wire, which of course is most distinct when the wire ceases to 
be io-nited. This appearance is connected with the formation of 
a peculiar acrid volatile substance possessed of acid properties. 

The chemical changes in general produced by slow combus- 
tion appear worthy of investigation. A wire of platinum intro- 
duced under the usual circumstances into a mixture of prussic 
gas (cyanogen) and oxygen in excess became ignited to white- 
ness, and the yellow vapours of nitrous acid were observed in the 
mixture. And in a mixture of olefiant gas non-explosive from 
the excess of inflammable gas, much carbonic oxide was formed. 

I have tried to produce these phaenomena with various metals : 
but I have succeeded only with platinum and palladium ; with 
copper, silver, iron, gold, and zinc, the effect is not produced. 
Platinum and palladium have low conducting powers, and small 
capacities for heat, compared witli other metals; and these seem 
to be the principal causes of their producing, continuing, and 
rendering sensible these slow combustions. 

I have tried somo earthy substances which are bad conductors 
of heat ; but their capacities and power of radiating heat appear 
to interfere. A thin film of carbonaceous matter entirely de- 
stroys the igniting power of platinum, and a slight coating of 
sulphuret deprives palladium of this property, which must prin- 
cipally depend upon their increasing the power of the metals to 
radiate heat. 

Thill laminae of the metals, if their form admits of a free cir- 

on the Comlustlon of Gaseous Mixtures. 25 

culation of air, answer as well as fine wires; and a large surface 
of platinum may be made red hot in the vapour of ether, or ia 
a combustible* mixture of coal gas and air. 

I need not dvsell upon the connection of these facts respecting 
slow combustion, with the other facts 1 have described in the 
history of flame. Many theoretical views will arise from this 
coimection. and hints for new researches, which 1 hope to be 
able to pursue in another communication. 1 shall now con- 
clude by a practical application. By hanging some coils of fine 
wireof platiimm, or a fine sheet of platinum or palladium, above 
the wick of his lamp, in the wire-gauze cylinder, the coal miner, 
there is every reason to believe, will be suppHed with light in 
mixtures of fire-damp no longer explosive ; and should his flame 
be extinguished by the quantity of fire-damp, the glow of the 
metal will continue to guide him; and by placing the lamp in 
different jiarts of the gallery, the relative brightness of the wire 
will show the state of the atmosphere in these parts. Nor can 
there be any danger with respect to respiration whenever the 
wire continues ignited, for even this phsenomenon ceases when 
the foul air forms about 2-5 ths of the volume of the atmosphere. 

I introduced into a wire-gauze safe-lamp a small cage made 
of fine wire of platinum of the l-70th of an inch in thickness, 
and fixed it by means of a thick wire of platinum about two 
inches ai)ove the wick which was lighted. I placed the whole 
apparatus in a large receiver, in which, by means of a gas-holder, 
the air could be contaminated to any extent with coal gas. As 
soon as there was a slight admixture of coal gas, the platinum 
became ignited; the ignition continued to increase till the flame 
of the wick was extinguished, and till the vvhole cylinder became 
filled with flame; it then diminished. When the quantity of 
coal gas was increased so as to extinguish the flame ; at the mo- 
ment of the extinction the cage of platinum became white hot, 
and |)resented a most brilliant light. By increasing the quantity 
of the coal gas still further, the ignition of the platinum became 
less vivid. When its light was barely sensible, small quantities 
of air were admitted, its heat speedily increased ; and by regu- 
lating the admission of coal gas and air it again became white 
hot, and soon after lighted the flame in the cylinder, which as 
usual, by the addition of more atmaspherical air, re-kindled the 
flame of the wick. 

This experiment has been very often repeated, and always with 
the same results. When the wire for the support of the cage, 
whether of platinum, silver, or copper, was very thick, it re- 
tained suHicient heat to enable the fine platinum wire to re- 
kindle iu u proper mixture a half a minute after its light had 


26 On the Cumlustion of Gaseous Mixtures. 

been entirely destroyed by an atmosphere of pure coal gas ; and by 
increasing its thickness the period might be made still longer. 

The phaenomenon of the ignition of the platinum takes place 
feebly in a mixture consisting of two of air and one of coal gas, and 
brilliantly in a mixture consisting of three of air and one of coal 
gas : the greater the quantity of heat produced the greater may 
be the quantity of the coal gas, so that a large tissue of wire will 
burn in a more inflammable mixture than single filaments, and a 
wire made white hot will burn in a more inflammable mixture 
than one made red hot. If a mixture of three parts of air and 
one of fire-damp be introduced into a bottle, and inflamed at its 
point of contact with the atmosphere, it will not explode, but 
will burn like a pure inflammable substance. If a fine wire of 
platiimm coiled at its end be slowly passed through the flame, 
it will continue ignited in the body of the mixture, and the same 
gaseous matter will be found to be inflammable and to support 

. There is every reason to hope that the same phaenomena will 
occur with the cage of platinum in the fire-damp, as those which 
have been described in its operation on mixtures of coal gas. In 
trying experiments in fire-damp, the greatest care must be taken 
that no filament or wire of platinum protrudes on the exterior 
of the lamp, for this would fire externally an explosive mixture. 
However small the mass of platinum which kindles an explosive 
mixture in the safe-lamp, the result is the same as when large 
masses are used ; the force of the explosion is directed to, and 
the flame arrested by, the whole of the perforated tissue. 

When a large cage of wire of platinum is introduced into a 
very small safe-lamp, even explosive mixtures of fire-damp are 
burnt without flame ; and by placing any cage of platinum in 
the bottom of the lamp round the wick, the wire is prevented 
from being smoked. I have sent lamps furnished with this ap- 
paratus to be tried in the coal mines of Newcastle and White- 
haven : and I anxiously wait for the accounts of their effects ia 
atmospheres in which no other permanent light can be produced 
by combustion. 

London, Jan. 22, 1817. 

Eocplanation of Figures, Plate I. 
Fig. A is a small cage made of wire of platinum, of l-70th or 
l-80th of an inch ia thickness, fastened to a wire for raising it 
above the wick, for giving light in inflammable media, containing 
too little air to be explosive. 

Figures B and B are a similar cage for placing in the bottom 
ol the lamp, to prevent it from being smoked by the wick. 

' II. 0» 

[ 27 ] 

II. On Aerial Navigation. By Sir Gjeouge Caylky, Bart. 

To Mr. Tillock. 

Sir, — OiNCE my last paper on Aerial Navigation, several 
scattered observations have been made upon this subject in your 
Magazine ; and although it has not met with all the encourage- 
ment it deserves, yet it has received as much notice as can rea- 
sonablv be expected, when it is considered that it invites its sup- 
porters to a subscription, during an unparalleled period of public 
pecuniary privation. I am glad to find that a gentleman of di- 
stinguished literary and scientific reputation has stated to you 
his intention of subscribing fifty pounds towards any experiments 
on this subject, that may be conducted by men of science; al- 
luding, 1 conceive, to the committee proposed in one of my 
papers. Mr. Evans has likewise signified his intention of sub- 
scribing, in conjunction with Mr. Lovell E,dgeworth^' and myself. 
It therefore becomes necessary to publish the present amount of 
the subscriptions, which I propose, subject to the permission of 
these two gentlemen, may be done in your Magazine for July; by 
which time I hope a few more names may be added, and a fund 
for experiments on the improvement of balloons be commenced, 
which will in time enable the capabilities of this interesting in- 
vention to be properly investigated and ascertained, under the 
ins|!)ection of a committee of scientific persons, acting with the 
advice of the best professional engineers in the country f. Surely, 
when it is considered that this leading discovery of suspending 
heavy bodies in the air by balloons is but recent in our age; and 
that t'le caml»rous and exjjeu'^ive nature of their structure has 
placed the proper scale of experiments far beyond the expense 
that individuals choose to appropriate to such purposes, — it can- 
not be deemed absurd, or even unworthy a sense of national 
pride, by a combined effort of intelligence and contribution, to 
rescue this noble invention from for ever remaining a gaudy 
bubble in the hands of exhibition-makers. All that I ask of 
men of information upon matters of this nature is, to combine, 
and to try such rational experiments, as would show by degrees 

* Sir George will liine le.iriit Iiy this time that the gentleman whom he 
here lulmes is now no more, lie was the ^entleinaii who had a^ireed to sub- 
scrihc li'ty (miuikIs. — \iu\T. 

t I siaiiil la^t year to Mr. Tilloch the amount of my subscription, as 
tlie original promoKr, uiidcrcertJiiji conditions; for the present I shall say 
50 poundi; hot I hy no means wish !;entlcmen disposed to forward experi- 
ments on thij subject to subscribe upon a high scale, as « greater amount 
may probably be obtained in subscriptions of from one to ten pounds. 


28 On Aerial Navigalion. 

how far it is practicable to guide balloons : — such acoinmittce as 
I propose would never enter into any of those projects which, 
whether ultimately talsc or true, are at present too many steps 
in advance to be proper objects of their immediate attention ; 
but, commencing with what has been ascertained upon this sub- 
ject, would advance step by step from that point, as far as the 
present state of our knowledge of first moving powers will per- 

The title and terms of the subscription I therefore propose to 
be as follows : 

WE, the undersigned parties, enter into the following subscrip- 
tion, for the purpose of ascertaining how far the principle of 
balloons supporting heavy burthens in the air may le made use- 
ful as a means of conveyance. 

No person to l)e called upon for his subscription money till at 
least 1000/. be subscribed for. 

When the subscription has reached this amount, an annual 
committee of seven of the subscribers to be elected; — every sub- 
scriber of one poinid and of less than five pounds to have one vote 
on this and all other occasions. Subscribers of five pounds to 
liave two votes; and subscribers of larger sums to have one ad- 
ditional vote for every additional five pounds ihey subscribe. 

No experiments to be undertaken but by order of this com- 
mittee, who may call in the advice of such civil engineers as 
they choose to consult. 

An annual report of the application of the fund, and the result 
of the experiments made, to be printed for the use of the sub- 

These regulations being the basis upon which the subscription 
is made, cannot be altered; but subsequent rules not militating 
against these, may be entered into at a general meeting of the 
subscribers, expressly convened for the purpose. 

Having now stated my sentiments respecting the general bear- 
ing of this subject, I proceed to notice some remarks that have 
been made by others since my late papers. Mr. Evans has sug- 
gested as an improvement upon the triple tier of wing waftage 
by the steam-engine, that a rotary movement with oblique sur- 
faces will be preferable, on account of the continual loss of power 
which he conce'ves to take place in putting these surfaces into 
motion from a state of rest. This reasoning against reciprocat- 
ing movements is in general perfectly correct, but in this case 
the maxim does not hold good. The whole power communi- 
cated to these wafting surfaces is applied in the commencement 


On Atrial Navigatim. 2& 

to overcome the vis inert'ice of the materials of which they are 
composed, ami the gradually increasing resistance of the air. To- 
wards the termination of the wait, if the movement I)p pioperly 
contrived, the momentum accumulated in these surfaces will pro- 
long the effective waft as much bevond the time vvhe;; the effort 
of the first mover h^s ceased, as will exactly restore the power 
absorbed at tlie commencement of the action. Thus the whole 
power will have been expended on the resistance of the air, and 
consequently in propelling the balloon. 

There are sevejal difficulties of construction which occur in 
rotative wafts ; liie cliief of which are, giving firm support and 
comnmnicating motion to the axis at the necessary distance it is 
obliged to be placed from the boat ; whereas in the wing waftage 
the hinge is on the solid frame of the boat. The wing con- 
struction likewise offers an advantage of great importance, — that 
of providing, if properly managed, a safe descent in case of acci- 
dent to the balloon. The chief advantage of the rotary move- 
ment is its uniform action. I think either construction may he 
made effectual, but I prefer the wing plan as the easiest for our 
first experiments. Mr. Evans may see in my early papers upon 
this subject, that revolving fivers had not escaped my attention: 
indeed, the first experiment I made upon the mechanical prin- 
ciples of aerial navigation, was successfully executed, though on a 
very small scale and by verv simple means, upon this very plan*. 

Some very ingenious observations on the subject of aerial na- 
vigation are made by a correspondent in your Magazine for 
March 1817- In the third paragraph, respecting the means of 
vertical motion, the plan of condensing air into a second bal- 
loon is adverted to as woithy of particular attention. This plan 
of increasing the specific gravity by condensation, and lessening 
it again by the escape of the condensed air, was one of the earliest 
suggestions of the balloon-makers; but, though founded on a true 
principle, is quite incflicient in practice. The elastic pressure 
of air increasing as its density, no cloth is able to bear the force 
required: for instance, if a cloth be capable of resisting a lineal 
tension of five hundred pounds to the foot, let a balloon tvventv 
feet in diameter l)e constructed of this cloth ; it will readily be 
found upon calculation, that only from seventeen to twentv pounds 
of additional air can be pumped into it before it would arrive at 
the proposed tension. Thus a huge impediment to motion 
would be added to the machine, besides the a.iditional bulk of 
the supporting balloon necessary to carry the weight of this in- 
cumbrance, without gaining any efficient power to comjiensatc 
for these disadvantages. 

* Nitiiolsoii's Journal fur November 1809, p. 172. 


so Oil Aerial Navigaiion. 

In the second paragraph, respecting lateral motion, it is ob- 
served that the tacking plan, though worthy of much considera- 
tion, is incapable of counteracting any considerable wind, " as a 
little calculation will show." I must here remark, that if your 
correspondent will honour with his attention my statement 
respecting a Montgolfian balloon constructed on the tacking 
plan, in your Magazine for March 1816, and will recalculate 
the powers of that construction, he will find that the horizontal 
speed will be about twenty miles per hour in calm air ; Init he 
must not, as he proposes, consider the major axis as elevated in 
an angle of 45" with the horizon ; but at an angle of 30°, which 
will be found to cause the path of the machine to be in the for- 
mer angle ; 15 or Iti being lost, in what is similar to lee-way 
in ships, according to the flatness of the top surface of the bal- 
loon. Although a velocity of twenty miles per hour will not 
overcome some winds, and would scarcely be at par with what 
Mr. Smeaton calls "very brisk" in his table ; yet it would over- 
come what he terms "gently pleasant," at a speed of sixteen 
miles per hour ; and what he terms " pleasant brisk," at about 
seven and a half. Very few days in the year have what is thus 
called very brisk wind, and it is even in this case 32 to 1 that it 
does not blow from that point of the compass which is the pro- 
posed direction of steerage. In most oblique cases the power of 
the machine will give a great command of diagonal steerage 
within the semicircle opposed to the wind ; on either side it will 
be no impediment ; and in the whole semicircle behind the wind 
it will add to the velocity required. Hence, as on most occa- 
sions a choice of time is left, winds will be of infinite use in 
aerial navigation, even should twenty miles per hour, in calm air, 
prove to be the limit to the velocity of these machines. The 
difference of the currents in the upper and lower strata of the 
atmosphere, it is well observed by your correspondent, will lend 
great assistance to the steerage of balloons, as will also the sin- 
gular fact of their following the direction of rivers, which is pro- 
bably an electric phaenomenon, rivers acting like discharging 
rods by connecting the opposite electrical states of distant re- 
gions of the atmosphere, as is exemplified by the greater frequency 
of accidents from lightning on their banks than in ordinary si- 

In the third paragraph your correspondent states the failure 
of oars in moving balloons to have arisen from their being ap- 
plied to the car, in lieu of " their line of pressure passing through 
the centre of pressure of the whole system," much of the power 
being thus applied towards commimicating a rotary movement 
of the car round the balloon. I do not conceive this to be the 


Oil Aerial Navigation. 31 

cause of failure, but the application of the power of one or two 
men, with very ill appropriated means, to perform what required 
the strength of twice as many horses. With respect to the oblique 
force noticed by your correspondent, I wish to refer him to the 
case of a barge drawn along the centre of a canal by a rope to a 
horse on the bank; — no power is lost by this mode of draft, but 
what arises from the actual path of the vessel not coinciding with 
the line of its major axis, which slight increase of resistance is 
foreign to the case of a spherical balloon, where simple gravita- 
tion, and not the pressure of a fluid on an oblique plane, is the re- 
straining force. This is best explained by a figure. 

Let A, fig. 1, Plate I. be a balloon. B its car, propelled be- 
yond the centre of suspension by any given power of waftage ; 
draw AC perpendicular, and CB parallel to the horizon; and 
let these lines be in the same ratio to each other as the weight 
of the car is to the propelling power ; then the line AB will re- 
present the whole action of the car upon the balloon. Draw 
A D and B D, respectively, parallel to the two former lines, and 
it becomes evident that the power of the compound force AB, 
will have the same effect as the two forces AD, equal to CB, 
the propelling povver, and A C the weight of the car ; which 
being just balanced by the floating power that may be repre- 
sented by B D, leaves the balloon to be carried along in its hori- 
zontal path by the same force, as if dragged in the direct line 
of its centre AD. I have been the more particular in my ob- 
servations on this point, because I wish to show that long bal- 
loons filled with hydrogen gas may be made use of at any distance 
above the car they support, which may be found to render them 
safe from the fire of the engine, and yet not be subject to anv 
loss of power from the waftage being applied to the car in lieii 
of the balloon. Thirty or forty yards, if necessarA', may inter- 
vene between the balloon and top of the chimney of the fire 
which works the engine. Wire-gauze, so celebrated of late for 
preventing the communication even of explosive mixtures of hy- 
drogen with each other, may interpose its magic web to cut off 
any danger in this respect ; and as the hydrogen gas balloon 
must (for the sake of firm resistance to the external air, so as to 
preserve the proper form of the prow) be inclosed in one of 
coarser materials, into which common air can be pumped to the 
required density between them, it becomes almost impossible 
that any accident from fire can take place. A flexible leather 
tube and cordage will thus form the only connection between the 
boat and the balloon. The stupendous bulk of such balloons as 
upon calculation appear capable of being made to convey con- 
eiderable burthens with the requisite degree of speed, forms the 


32 On Aerial Navigation. 

chief obstacle to their introduction. This causes the expense 
attending their structure and inflation, their tremendous power 
if assailed by winds, and the difficulty of disjiosing of them when 
not employed. The expense of structure would at ))reseut be 
about 300/. per ton; but if these vessels became of general utility, 
a much cheaper u^.eans of structure would probably soon be 
found cut. The expense of inflating them with hydrogen gas is 
heavy by the present process ; but as water consists of rather 
more than a sixth part of its weight of pure hydrogen * ; and as 
every portion of hydrogen according to its purity gives from 
ten to twelve times its ov>n weight of support in a balloon, it 
follows that every ton of water that is decomposed for this pur- 
pose, will suspend very nearly two tons of burthen in the air. 
If this process, as I before suggested, be performed by exposing 
red hot iron to the action of steam, it apjjears, from the known 
proportion of oxygen in the black oxide thus formed f, that it 
■will take about a ton and a half of iron to each ton of supporting 
power ; and hence an oven of three and a half yards cubed will 
contain suflficient iron drops or borings, allowing one half of the 
space for the free passage of the steam amongst them, to inflate 
the balloon 1 have described of fifty tons power. As the oxide 
will be reduced by melting the iron again in the ordinary way, 
no metal would be lost; and the process would not be expensive 
if conducted where coal and iron ore are found together, as is 
frequently the case in this kingdom. 

Charcoal will decompose water more rapidly and at a cheaper 
rate; and although the carburetted hydrogen thus obtained is 
generally much too heavy for inflating balloons ; yet as the com- 
pound nature of this gas seems to vary according to the quantity 
and circumstances under which the steam comes in contact with 
the ignited charcoal ; and as Lavoisier and Meusnier obtained 
it at the specific gravity of 0-279, air being -1000, or rather 
more than three and a half times lighter than air, it is very pro- 
bable that some ready mode may be found of obtaining pure hy- 
drogen by the simple action of combustibles upon steam, which 
will render the floatage of balloons cheap enough for that or- 
dinary use which, sooner or later, this principle was designed to 
be of to mankind. Had hydrogen been a scanty substance, to 
be found with dilhculty, its remarkable levity, though attractive 
as a matter of curious chemical research, would only have been 
tantalizing, as exhibiting a means of suspending heavy bodies in 

* 35 Oxygt'ii. f 27 Oxygen. 

15 H}'drogcn. 73 Iron. 

100 Water. • 100 Bl.ick oxirle. 


On Aerial Navigation. 35 

the air ; but who will deny that in chemistry, as in every other 
branch of natural knowledge, there exist palpable evidences of 
design and adaptation, either of man to these elements, or of 
the elements to the uses of man. I do not here allude to those 
self-evident and immediate adaptations, such as light to the eye, 
the structure of the lungs to the air we breathe, or of the sto- 
mach to the water we drink ; but those more indirectly adapted 
to the pleasures, wants and conveniences of life : for instance, 
iron, which is certainly the most useful of the metals, is the most 
plentiful ; its power of being made into steel for tools, capable, 
by so simple an art as that of being suddenly cooled, of acquiring 
any degree of hardness, so as even to cut steel itself; — the ex- 
traordinary power it has of becoming so far in a state of fusion 
as to admit of being perfectly united under the hammer in a 
welding heat, without losing the form it had been previously 
wrought into, are, in the opinion of every enlightened workman, 
evidences of design in its chemical structure as respecting the 
wants of mankind. No one can doubt that water, which seems 
to form the basis of all the vegetable and animal juices, was 
likewise designed as furnishing the means of navigation. Nature 
is no niggard of that which she designs for the uses of her crea- 
tures. The sun, in lighting up our enamelled acres, far outdoes 
the utmost brilliancy of our nocturnal ball-rooms; and to hire 
an acre of illumination equal to what this luminary bestows upon 
it gratis, would cost from thirty to forty thousand per annum. 
The very circumstance that every ton of water contains a power 
of giving two tons of floatage to heavy bodies within the atmo- 
sphere, is strong evidence that this may be intended as one of 
the uses of the chemical arrangement of this plentiful element. 

The relative power of balloons to break away from their an- 
chorage in a storrh of wind, decreases under the circumstances 
of magnitude and oblong structure 1 have proposed, in the same 
ratio vvith tlie decrease of their resistance in passing through the 
air. The horizontal drag of the balloon of fifty tons when at 
anchor, and exposed to the various degrees of wind in Mr.Smea- 
ton's table, will be as follows : 

Miles per Hour. Tons. 

Higli wind 32i 8 

Very high wind .. .. 42| 13i 

Sturm or tempest .... 50 19 

Great storm 60 27 

Hence, even in the great storm, if the boat be anchored to 
the earth, the wind would only cause the connecting ropes to 
incline back to an angle of 33 ' with a perpendicular, and by no 
means overcome the floating power and beat the balloon to the 
earth so as to endanger it; provided the strength of the materials 
Vol. 30. No. 231. Jidij 1817. C were 

34 On Serial Navigation. 

were such as to bear intense condensation sufficient to preserve 
the form of the prow under this load of pressure. This neces- 
sity of balloons to bear considerable internal and external pres- 
sure will oblige these machines to be made of strong materials, 
and to be braced by a wide net of cordage. It will likewise be 
necessary to make them in several compartments, like the sto- 
machs of a leech, the power of the same cloth to resist conden- 
sation being inversely as the diameters of the containing bag. 
This additional weight will of course in the same degree diminish 
the supporting power : however, it may be practicable by means 
of tubes to each compartment, the mouths of which open exter- 
nally to any required portion of the whole direct resistance of 
the wind,. so to proportion the internal pressure, as only slightly 
to exceed the external in these respective compartments, and 
thus much of the strain may be avoided. The pressure of the 
atmosphere upon the skin of a moderate sized man amounts to 
about eight tons ) but being balanced by an internal elasticity of 
equal amount, his lungs play without difficulty, and no strain is 
felt on any part of his skin. The necessity of having several 
compartments in large balloons, though an evil as to weight, is 
fully compensated for by the additional security it bestows : — by 
this structure, an accidental rupture of one portion would not 
cause a precipitate descent, as the floatage may be restored by a 
commensurate discharge of ballast, or of goods, in case of per- 
sonal danger to the crew. The front or prow portion may be 
made of the strongest materials, and the hinder and middle por- 
tion of those duly proportioned to the stress they have to sustain ; 
whereas, if all the air be in one vessel, every part must be alike 
capable of bearing the strongest strain. I would not have en- 
tered so minutely into these points, so much in advance of the 
present experimental state of the subject, were it not that the 
reluctance that is felt by some persons to aid experiments upon 
balloons, arises from a hasty conviction that the dilfficulties at- 
tending this subject are so great as to preclude all hopes of ul- 
timately overcoming them : I wish to allow all the obstacles their 
fair weight, but to meet them by such expedients as their nature 
permits of, in doing which I fear I may have already trespassed 
too much upon your pages ; and shall therefore conclude this 
paper with a very brief enumeration of the leading points that 
ought to induce experiments upon balloons to be made. They 
offer a direct swift and easy floatage from any one point to every 
other on the face of our globe. Their relative resistance de- 
creases inversely to their power of support ; so that the large 
balloon of fifty tons formerly described, will meet with no more 
resistance than the bird from which its form is taken, weight for 
weight. Every ton of decomposed water gives two tons of float- 

Remarks on Sir Richard Phillips's Neiv Hypothesis. 35 

ihg power. They would keep aloft, and be firm and steady in 
their position under anchorage, even in storms. The large bal- 
loon descril)ed, would pack up when out of use in a chamber 
within the boat eight y^rds by four, and thus render the ap- 
paratus compact on sliore ; and in the atmosphere there is unli- 
mited space to accommodate any bulk with equal ease, especially 
when it is considered that every increase of it implies an increase 
of levity, and not of weight. Their structure being double, like 
a leathern foot-ball containing a bladder, the thin silken bag of 
hydrogen would not be exposed to any violence ; and this gas 
being compressed on all sides alike by the condensed air sur- 
rounding it, would have no tendency to escape, during the ac- 
tion of the wind on the prow, as it would in the case of a com- 
mon balloon, if at anchor or swiftly impelled through the air. 

Danger from fire may be nearly excluded by the proper pre- 
cautions. The same power that creates their progressive hori- 
zontal niotion will effect their elevation and depression, by the 
apj)lication of an horizontal rudder or sail, and their steerage to 
either side by a vertical one. This will easily be understood 
from the sketch, fig. 2, Plate I. which represents a side view of 
the arrangement of the moving and steering sails of a balloon 
on the wing plan. Fig. 3 represents an end-view of a balloon 
witli rotary flyers. Neither of these sketches shows any of the 
connecting parts belonging to their movements, which would 
have made the drawing confused. 
I remain, sir, 

Your obliged and obedient servant, 
Brompton, May 12, 1817. Geo. CaylEY. 

III. Remarks on Sir Richard Phillips's New Hypothesis^ 
By Thomas Tredgold, Esq. 

He his fabric of the heavens 

Ilath left to tlieir disputes, perhaps to move 

IJis laughter at their quaint opinions wide."— AfiVfon. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — £\. SLIGHT consideration must convince any person, 
that the phenomena of the universe cannot be the result of any 
continued chain of mechanical causes; and that, ultimately, we 
must arrive at some elements and powers or proj)erties which 
can only be referred to the First Cause, " which certainly is not 
Reasoning on mechanical principks can be applied only to 
C 2 discover 

S6 Remarks on Sir Richard Phillips's New Hypothesis. 

discover the proportional effects of modified causes — all such 
reasoning being made on the presupposition of some active powers 
- — which we know from experience, vvill produce the same eflfects 
under the same circumstances, — and when philosophical in- 
quirers have traced all the phaenomena of Nature to these ori- 
ginal elements and powers, physical science may then be con- 
sidered in its most perfect state. These elements and powers 
being the first principles of physical science, the combination and 
modification of them producing all the phaenomena of Nature, it 
is desirable that they should be free from every thing that even 
has the appearance of being assumed without a suflficient founda- 

Attraction is one of those principles which have from time to 
time raised the scruples of philosophical inquirers, and particu- 
larly that kind of attraction which Newtonians call gravitation. 
The cause of attraction — if it has any other than the fiat of the 
Creator — appears to be placed beyond the powers of the human 
understanding; but its existence is proved by an abundant class 
of phaenomena. That bodies attract each other when in contact 
few will be inclined to doubt; — but this being admitted, is any new 
difficulty created by supposing them to act at a distance ? Sup- 
pose two bodies in contact are held together by attraction, why 
should an infinitely small distance totally destroy this force ? Is 
it not more probable that the power decreases inversely as some 
function of the distance, than that it should abruptly cease at 
the instant of separation? Is it not proved by magnetical, 
electrical, chemical, and optical experiments, that attraction ope- 
rates when bodies are not in contact ? and, does not gravitation 
afford a satisfactory solution of the various phaenomena of the 
solar system? which is not to be obtained by the introduction 
of any other principle whatever. This your correspondent Sir 
Richard Phillips is disposed to deny; and imagines that he has 
discovered the mechanical cause of the phaenomena that appear 
to be the result of attraction. But his demonstra^^ions, if such 
they can be called, are certainly of a very questionable nature. 

Sir Richard takes it for granted, that the earth is moving in 
its orbit — but does not seem to be aware that attraction or some 
equivalent force is necessary to produce this motion. But, to 
meet him on his own supposition, let us admit that the elliptical 
motion of the earth is fully accounted for, — and then examine 
the circumstances which he supposes would have an influence 
on the descent of a body to the earth's surface. 

In the first place, the resistance of the air will not have any 
tendency to force the body downwards. To remove all the cir- 
cumstances that are not connected with the descent of the bodv, 


Remarks on Sir Richard Phillips's New Hypothesis. 37 

let us suppose a ball to be dropped from the top of a high tower; 
in this case the air's resistance will retard the motion of the ball, 
instead of causing it to descend. 

Secondly. The rotation of the earth cannot possibly deflect 
the ball downwards, because that, if the ball were acted upon 
by the rotary force only, it would fly off in the direction of a 
tangent to the earth's surface; consequently the rotary motion 
of the earth would have an opposite effect to that ascribed to it 
by Sir Richard. 

Thirdly. That the annual motion of the earth cannot force the 
ball downward Sir Richard must know from the illustrations he has 
cited respecting the falling of bodies on board a ship in motion. 

And, as none of these forces taken singly has a tendency to 
move the ball towards the earth's surface, it follows from the 
composition of motion that the joint action of these forces will 
not have any such tendency. 

As to the angle Sir Richard has drawn as the measure of the 
deflective force, he might have made it any thing or nothing- 
just as was most convenient ; consequently projectiles, if his 
reasoning be correct, would be subject to different laws in dif- 
ferent parts of the earth at the same time, and at the same place 
to different laws at different times : but I do not find that he 
has made any experimental researches on this subject. 

Sir Richard's anxious desire to make his hypothesis agree with 
the known phaenomena of falling bodies has led him into a trifling 
geometrical error. The spaces described by the points C and F 
(see his figure, Phil. Mag., No. 230, p. 43(3,) in the same time 
will be as the circumferences of the circles they move in ; and the 
circumferences of circles are as their radii, and not as the squares 
of their radii, as Sir Richard supposes. 

Sir Richard is also incorrect in supposing that the effect of 
the rotary motion of the earth on falling bodies has not been 
considered : it was one of the strongest objections that were 
made against the Copernic^n system, — that if a stone were let 
fall from the top of a high tower, it would strike the ground con- 
siderably to the westward of the foot of the tower. 

And as the experiments and reasonings of Galileo had not yet 
instructed men in the inertia of matter, nor in the composition 
of motion, the followers of Copernicus were unprovided with 
the true answer to this objection; viz. that the stone was a 
part of the earth, and therefore the annual and diurnal motions 
which were natural to the earth, were also natural to the stone; 
consequently the stone would retain the same motion with the 
lower, and strike the ground at the foot of it. 

A more accurate investigation of the subject has led others to 
conclude, that the stone would fall a little to the eastward of the 

C 3 point 

3S New Outlines of Chemical Philosophy . 

point over which it commenced its motion, in consequence of the 
velocity of rotation being greater at the top than at the bottom 
of the tower. The celebrated Laplace is said to have investi- 
gated this effect of the rotary motion of the earth, in the "Bul- 
letin des Sciences," No, 75. 

The Newtonian theory, on which the whole of physical astro- 
nomy i-^ founded, asserts nothing more of gravitation, than that 
the result answers to the supposition, in every case, as far as ob- 
servation reaches. Gravitation is not an occult quality, but a 
manifest property of matter, its truth apjjearing from the phae- 
nomena. And among these the attraction of mountains is a 
most direct and decisive proof that every particle of matter is 
endued with the povver of attraction. 

The effect of the mountain Chiml)ora9o in Peru, on the plumb- 
line of the French i)hilosophers ; the experiments on the moun- 
tain Schehallien, by Dr. Maskelyne ; the ex|)eriuients at Mar- 
seilles, by Baron de Zach ; and the interesting experiments of 
Mr. Cavendish*, are each of them an experimental proof that 
matter gravitates; and together form so complete and so con- 
sistent a body of experimental evidence, that, were the evidence 
derived from theory less perfect than it is, this would establish 
the truth of Newton's theory. 

In a paper which indirectly accuses Newton of superstition, 
— which,in the idea of its author, will render it necessary to "7e- 
model" his " Principia," and which professes to develop princi- 
ples which will overturn the whole system of modern philosophy, — 
we certainly should expect to find something to correspond with 
these lofty pretensions, or at least something so plausible that 
we might admire even while we were obliged to condemn : but 
even in this its author has failed ; he oidy shows that he is as 
imperfectly acquainted with his subject as he is with the subor- 
dinate sciences; that he knows little of the authors he pretends 
to refute, and still less of the system they have supported. 

London, July 7, 1317. T- TuEDGOLD. 

IV. New Outlines of Chemical Philosophy. By Ezekiel 
Walker, E^^. of Lynn, Norfolk. 

[Continued from vol. xlix. p. 354.] 

J. HE geometriciaii always defines the terms that he intends to 
use, before he begins to demonstrate a proposition ; and the same 
rule ought to be observed in all physical investigations ; for, if the 
meanings of the terms made use of be not understood, the in- 
vpstigations must be doubtful. 

* riiii. Trans. 17Q3. 


New Outlines of Chemical Philosophy. 39 

According- to the new theory, water consists of two principles, 
liydrogen and oxygen. Now before we begin to inquire into the 
truth of this theory, it will be necessary to understand the mean- 
ings of those terms. Dr. Henry observes that " every gas, it 
must be remembered, has at least two ingredients; the one 
gravitating matter, wliich, if separate, vvould probably exist in 
a solid or a liquid form ; the other an extremely subtile fluid, 
termed caloric. In the example before us, caloric {!\nd perhaps 
electricily and light) is a common ingredient both of hydrogen 
and oxygen gases; but the two differ in having different bases. 
The basis of the one is called hvdrogen, of the other oxygen; 
and water may, therefore, be affirmed to be a compound, not 
of hvdrogen and oxygen gases, but of hydrogen and oxygen*"'." 

Dr. Murray observes that *' the action of electricity affords a 
mode of resolving water into its constituent gases, and of com- 
bining those again so as to reproduce itf." 

Now according to these statements, water is a compound 
of hydrogen and oxygen ; — aiul hydrogen and oxygen are the 
component parts of water ! This is nothing more than arguing 
in a circle ; yet such is the basis on which is built the much 
celebrated fabric of tlie French doctrine of the composition of 

As the component parts of water, according to the French 
hypothesis, consist of two ponderable matters, why are they not 
■exhibited in a solid or a liquid form, divested of that supposed 
" extremely subtile fluid termed caloric?" But this, I believe, 
has never been effected; and therefore, till this be done, the ex- 
istence of those matters can only be looked upon as an ingenious 
opinion, founded on conjecture. 

If we were to reason from what we know, we might say that 
water is the basis of the two gases ; but if we were to reason 
from principles the truth of which we do not know, we might 
then indeed conclude with M. Lavoisier and his associates, that 
the bases of the two gases in cjuestion are two unknown pon- 
derable bodies called hydrogen and oxygen X- 

We need only take a transient view of some of the grandest 
phenomena of Nature, to be convinced that the decomposition 
and recomposition of water are common operations. The water 
which falls from the clouds upon the surface of the earth is fre- 
quentlv converted into two invisible gases, by the two elements 
of combustion contained in the earth or upon its surface; and 
these gases ascending into the atmosphere become a part of it. 

• Henry's Elements of Chemistry, vol. i. p. 206. 
t Murray's Elements of Chemistry, vol. i. p. 304. 

1 Dr. Henry ol sctvcs that " we have no kn<)\vlcd;;e of the properties of 
owTcn ill a srute of complete separation." — Henry's Clicni. vol. i. p. 177. 

C4 When 

40 On the Trigonometrical Survey. 

When the two elements of combustion, thus carried up into the 
atmosphere, come into contact, thunder and liji;htning are pro- 
duced ; the light and heat thus generated fly off, and the water, 
which formed the bases of the two gases, is recomposed, and 
descends to the earth in a shower of hail, rain, or snow. 

Now if we examine the following experiments on water, we 
shall find them exactly similar to those just mentioned ; for the 
same undeviating law which takes place upon the surface of our 
globe, and in the atmosphere that surrounds it, obtains in the. 
laboratory of the chemist. 

When a Levden jar is discharged a certain number of times 
into a drop of water, this fluid is wholly converted into two gases, 
which are equal in weight to the drop of water. Now, as no- 
thing is present in this experiment, but water and the two ele- 
ments which were'contained in the jar, the two gases are com- 
pounds, consisting of those elements and water. Thermogen, 
the element of heat, converts a portion of the water into an in- 
visible gas : photogen, the element of light, converts the other 
part of the water into another gas ; water being the bases of 
the two aerial fluids. The two elements are kept separate by 
their bases; but an electric spark being passed through them, com- 
bustion is produced, and the bases of the two gases are resolved 
into a drop of water, of the same weight as the two gases ; the 
two elements being imponderable. I think it would be wander- 
ing very far from that simplicity which is every where seen in 
the operations of Nature's laws, to suppose (for it can only be a 
supposition) that the bases of the two gases are not water, but 
two new matters ; and when the gases are decomposed, these 
unknown matters are converted into water. 

Lynn, June 30, 1817. EzEKIEL WaLKER. 

[To be continued.] 

V. Extract of a Letter from Colonel Mudge to Wir.UAM 
Blackwood, Esq. relative to the Trigonometrical Survey*. 

I Edinburgh, June 7, 1817. 

HAVE the honour to inform you, that in consequence of 
the trigonometrical survey, carried on under my direction, having 
been brought on so far into the north as to admit of the descrip- 
tion of the longest meridional line passing through Great Britain, 
]\I. Biot, under the authority of both the French and English 
Governments, is arrived in England for the purpose of doing, in 
the several parts of our arc, the same series of experiments that 
had been formerly done by himself and the Commission of the 
Board of Longitude, at Formentera, one of the Balearic Islands 

* IVoni the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine for June 1317. 

On the Trigonometrical Survey. 41 

)ti the Mediterranean, and other stations on the French meridian, 
proceeding from thence to Dunkirk. 

The object of these experiments is, to ascertain the force of 
gravity at certain parts of our meridian, as connected with that 
of France and Spain. The pendulum is now erecting in Leith 
Fort, where every convenience offers itself for the experiment, 
and every wish has been anticipated by the chief engineer. Sir 
Howard Elphinstone. When the operations shall be completed, 
we propose to proceed to Kirkwall in the Orkneys, and near 
that place, or some more convenient situation, if any such can 
be found, we shall again set up the pendulum, and the ordnance 
zenith sector, the workmanship of the late celebrated Mr. Rams- 
den. Thus, while the experiments are carrying on to ascertain 
the force of gravity in that quarter, the observations will be made 
on proper stars near to the zenith, hereafter to be also observed, 
in finding the amplitude of the whole meridional arc. The base, 
now nearly completed in its measurement by Captain Thomas 
Colby of the Royal Engineers, in the vicinity of Aberdeen, will 
verify the sides of the triangles towards the northern part of our 
arc, connecting the Orkney Islands with the main land. It is 
probable that M. Biot and mvself will leave this quarter for In- 
verness (where the ordnance sector is now deposited) about the 
end of this month ; and we think it likely, if the weather should 
he fair, that our operations in the Orkneys will be finished early 
in August. When these observations shall be completed, we 
shall proceed to Yarmouth, on the coast of Norfolk, which lies 
nearly on the meridian of Formentera produced, and there we 
hope to be joined by M. Arago, member of the Institute of 
France, and one of the Commissioners of the Board of Longitude. 
By this co-operation, having accurately ascertained the latitude 
of this place, a notable addition will be made to the arc running 
south from Formentera to Dunkirk, independent of the great 
one, running north to the Orkneys; for we hope that the dif- 
ference of longitude (being only a few degrees) will not have suf- 
ficient influence to interfere with the importance of this last con- 
nexion. We will repeat the experiments of the pendulum at 
Yarmouth, and afterwards j)roceed to Blackdown, near Wey- 
mouth, to the meridional limit of the English arc, where, having 
again observed the pendulum, and made observations with the 
/.enith sector, on the same stars as are to be observed in the 
Orkneys, our united operations will close with Messrs. Biot and 
Arago erecting their clock at the Royal Observatory at Green- 
wich. It was to be always expected, that whenever peace should 
arrive, tlie science of France and England would affiliate, and by 
rhe united operations, in this particular, determine the magni- 
tude and figure of the earth, by experiments carried on on a greater 


42 Experiments on Vegetaliov. 

scale than could be done individually, and with the utmost nicety 
and exactness. The whole arc from Formentera to the Orkney* 
will contain nearly 22° of the earth's meridian ; and thence the 
quadrantal arc of the whole meridian, extending from the equa- 
tor to the polCj being ascertained, will afford the best of all pos- 
sible standards of length and capacity, whenever it shall be de- 
termined by the legislatures of both countries to equalize their 
weights and measures by the same common standard. The 
great arc deduced from these operations will be found to pass 
over a part of Spain, all France and Great Britain ; Belgium has 
already followed the example of France, and has taken the stand- 
ard from the same natural source. Thus, if by this participation, 
the three nations, from their united meridian, should agree to 
take the same standard derived from it, there seems little reason 
to doubt, the rest of the world, without loss of time or difficulty, 
would follow their example. W. Mudge. 

VI. Experiments on Vegetation, tending to correct some er- 
roneous Opinions entertai?ied respecting the Effects of Fege- 
talion on the Atmosphere. By Mr. J. Tatum. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

r>iR, — X HE opinion that the atmosphere is improved by vege- 
tation has been supported by so many celebrated philosophers, 
for the last forty years, that few or none doubt its correctness. 
But in spite of authority, having long observed the very great 
analogy which exists between the animal and vegetable king- 
doms in other respects, I could not but think that the anomaly 
respecting the effects supposed to be produced on the atmo- 
sphere by vegetation was incorrect ; and that a wish to discover 
in Nature a method to reconvert the carbonic acid gas, liberated 
by animals, into oxygen, had betrayed the authors of this hypo- 
thesis into an error. I shall not occupy your pages in particu- 
larizing their various experiments, which even militated against 
their own doctrine; but beg to observe, that in general they were 
not conducted in a manner so natural and correct as to warrant 
the conclusions drawn from them. To ascertain the effects of 
vegetation on the atmosphere, I contend that the vegetables sub- 
mitted to experiment ought not to be immersed in p7imp or car- 
bonated water, nor in a carbonated atmosphere, as that is by no 
means the natural situation of plants, or indeed of any living body. 
To expect living bodies to perform their natural functions in 
unnatural situations is an absurdity; and to avoid this, I insti- 
tuted a number of experiments which I thought more analogous 


Experiments on Vegetation. 4.1 

to Nature, in order to determine what were the real effects of 
vegetation and vegetables on tlie atmosphere. 

As germination is the first process of vegetation, I shall com- 
mence by calling your attention to the effects of that part of the 
physiology of vegetation on the air of the atmosphere. 

Exp. 1. For this pnrpose I placed a number of peas, barley, 
&:c. to germinate in a given portion of atmospherical air in a 
glass receiver (the mouth of which was confined by mercurj', in a 
groove turned in a slab of beech-wood. My reason for this me- 
thod was to avoid the action of water on the air of the receiver, 
as well as to prevent a large portion of mercury being exposed 
to the same. The upper part of the receiver was furnished with 
a cock, to which I could attach a syringe, and draw out a por- 
tion of air to be examined, without disturbing the apparatus; to 
which also a funnel was occasionally attached, to su])ply water 
to the plant when necessary). 

After a short time I found germination stop; but on lifting 
up the receiver so as to allow some air to escape and fresh air 
to enter, germination again commenced: this I repeated several 
times with similar results. Finding that germination ceased 
when seed was so confined, I had no doubt but that some altera- 
tion must have been produced on that fluid in which they had 
been inclosed. My next inquiry was to ascertain what this al- 
teration was : for which pnrpose I agitated the air with lime- 
water. A considerable turbidness was the result; 1- 13th was 
absorbed, and 4 inches of it with 2 in. of nitrous gas occupied 
4*4 in. — but 4 in. of common air and 2 in. nitrous air occupied 
only 3"9 in. ; from which we see that there was an abstraction of 
oxygen from the air of tlie receiver and a formation of carbonic 
acid ga«, — most likely the owgen of the atmosphere united 
with the carbon of the seed and produced the carbonic acid gas. 

Exp. II. I placed a portion of barley to germinate in a similar 
manner; and when germination appeared to cease, I examined 
the air. To 2 in. I put 1 in. of nitrous gas, which occupied 3 in., 
so that no diminution whatever took place ; consequently the 
whole of tiie oxygen had disappeared and formed some combi- 
nation: at the same time 2 in. of atmospherical and 1 in. nitrons 
air occupied only 1"8 in. 

Exp. III. August 10, liSlG. Two small scarlet beans growing 
in a pot, and exposed to the sunshine, were bent under a re- 
ceiver antl confined by mercury. At the expiration of seven days 
2 in. of the iiir and 1 in. of nitrous gas equalled 1'4.") in. ; but 
the above quantities of atmospherical air and nitrous gase(|ualled 
r42 in., consequently this process of vegetation had somewhat 
injured the air by abstracting its oxygen. 

Exp. IV. June 4, I81G. An entire turf composed of Dutfli 


44 lExptiriments on Vegetation, 

clover and grass (tlie area of which was 20 in.) was confined 
under a receiver (whose capacity was 150 in.) over mercury for 
three davs, and occasionally watered through the cock at the 
top of the receiver. When the air was examined, 2 in. of it and 
one of nitrous c(|ualled 2"3 in. But 2 in. of atmospherical and 
1 in. of nitrons = 19 in. I have repeated these experiments at 
vaiious periods, and have always obtained similar results. 

Exp. V. Sept. 6, 181G. A dish containing a portion of stone- 
crop in a very healthy state, was placed under a receiver over 
mercury; and at the exj)iration of ten days I found 2 in. of the 
air and I in. ()f nitrous gas =1'47 in., while the same propor- 
tions of common air and nitrous gas = 1*44 in. 

Exp.W. July 25, lSi6. Several sprigs of bergamot mint 
growing in a pot were bent under a receiver as usual ; and in six 
days I found 2 in. of the air and 1 in. of nitrous gas = 1*42 in. 
full; and 2 in. of common air and 1 in. of nitrous gas =1*42 

Perhaps it may be remarked, that the two last experiments 
produced but little effects on the atmosphere : but let it be re- 
collected that the object of these experiments was to ascertain 
whether vegetation improved the air of the atmosphere, by im- 
parting to it oxygen : and we see that in no instance what- 
ever was the air of the atmosjjhere improved by vegetation ; 
but on the contrary it was always somewhat injured, and in some 
instances the whole of the oxvgen disappeared. Is it not fair 
then to conclude that, so far from vegetation improving the at- 
mosphere, by decomposing tiie carbonic acid gas generated by 
animal respiration and combustion and liberating its oxygen, 
it like them combines with oxygen and generates the same kind 
of gas ? 

Having so far identified the physiological operations of the 
animal and vegetable kingdoms on tlie air of the atmosphere, 
I next tried the effects of factitious airs on plants, to see how far 
they might correspond with the effects of the same gases on the 
animal oeconomy. 

For this purpose I selected that plant which I could act upon 
in the most natural manner. Experiments VII. Vlll. and IX. 
Three turfs of clover and grass were placed nndcr receivers (as iu 
the former experiments). The first was inclosed in nitrogen gas; 
tlie second in carbolic acid gas; and the third in atmospherical 
air (as a standard bv which to compare the other two). 

They were all placed in the open air, and exposed to the vi- 
cissitudes of day aiid night, sunshine and cloudy. 

The effect of the nitrogen on the first turf was evident in 
one hour, by the leaves of the clover beginning to collapse and 
the leafstalks to bend ; the leaves became yellow, and in three 


Geological Queries regarding the Strata of Durham, &c. 45 

days the whole turf was completely dead, and when removed 
from the receiver possessed a very oifensive and putrid smell. 

The second turf, which was exposed to carbonic acid gas, be- 
trayed signs of decay on the second day, similar to the above, 
but not so quick: on "the fifth day this turf was completely dead. 

The third turf, which was inclosed in atmospherical air during 
I the above time, did not appear altered, except that the grass 
had grown considerably higher than when first introduced. 

We have here further corroborating proofs of the agreement 
of the animal and vegetable kingdoms in the points under ex- 
amination. We proved in our former experiments that vege- 
tables, like animals, convert the oxygen of the atmosphere into 
carbonic acid gas; and in these latter experiments we find that 
those very gases which are fatal to animals are e(|ually so to ve- 
getables. ,11 

I could extend this paper to a much greater length, by se- 
lections from mv Journal of the effects of fruits, flowers, new-cut 
grass, &c. on the atmosphere ; in all of which the air of the at- 
mosphere was much injured, and in most cases the whole of the 
oxygen was converted into carbonic acid gas in aiew days. But 
fearing that I have already trespassed on the limits of your pub- 
lication, I conclude. 

Yours, &c. 

Dorset-street, Salisbury-square, J- TatUM* 

July 10, 1817. 

VII. Geological Queries to Mr. Westgarth Forstf.r, Mr. 
Winch, Mr. Fryer, &c. regarding the Basaltic and other 
Strata 'of Durha7n, Northumberland, &c. &'c. By A Cor- 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sm It has given me sincere pleasure to observe at length, 

Mr Westgarth Forster, becoming a Correspondent in your very 
useful Magazine ;— I hope that in future he will become, like 
myself, a constant reader of your Work, and that he will often 
repeat his communications thereto, on Geological and Mining 
subjects. I beg to thank him for his attention, in p. 401 ot 
your last volume, to two of mv Queries, in p. 108 ot your xlvth 
volume, and to request his early attention*, to several turther 

• r presume to hope and request, tliat some regular Subscriber to your 
Maea/me, wl.o may be in liabits of i.ntimncy with Mr. W. I-., or who may 
live near to hiu), will early infor.n bin. of tlio request now made, aiu pro- 
mote bis reply, by the olitr oC the loan of their copy ot your Work, tor 

such uiirpOiC. /-v •' . 

' ' f^ Queries 

46 Geological Queries regarding Basall, {afc. 

Queries, which I have taken the liberty of putting, in p. 12 cf 
Your xlviith volume, and pages 122 and 25 I of your last volume, 
and that he will favour myself and many others of your Readers, 
to whom I know the same would be highly agreeable, with his 
full and explicit answer?, to all such of these queries, as his 
local knowledge of tlie northern parts of England, may now, or 
hereafter enable him. 

Particularly, as my 2d question intimates, as to //^eyac^, whether 
or not, the " great whin sill" or stratum of Basalt (shown in 
p. l.")2 of his " Treatise on a Section of the Strata," &c. a very 
useful and cheap Work, printed and sold by Preston, of New- 
castle) has not such a continuous edge on the surface, as clearly 
indicates it to form, like each of the other principal Strata, a 
vast extended plane (having curved parts), within the Earth, 
conformahly, with its under-lieing and with its over-lieing strata: 
although //5 grcdt variation of thicklte■^s, from eight fathoms to 
more than thirty fathoms (as is mentioned, p. 4 1 of the Treatise) 
may occasion its basset-range to assume, locally, t lie appearance 
of detached and ovcr-lieing masses of Basalt, so as very closely 
to " resemble tho«c of the King's Park at Edinburgh," as Mr. 
Winch has trulv observed, in page 101 of your xlviith volume. 

It seems therefore material I should mention here, that since 
Mr. Winch made this remark, the environs of Edinburgh have, 
for the first time I believe, been mapped by an experienced Mi- 
veral Suri'eyor, Mr. John Farey Sen., who is said to have minutely 
examined every part of the surface of the District; the immediate 
object of which Survey was, to ascertain the situations, extent 
and positions, of the porous and the water-tight Strata or Dykes, 
which supply or intercept the springs of Water, in the district 
around that City ; and from which examination it results, as I 
am informed*, that " the Strata of the King's Park," are now 
divested, of ?i\\ the peculiarities v;\\\c\\,o\i the one hand certain 
Jamesonian Theorists, from the application of their Geognostic 
Dogmas to insufficient Observations, had inferred and said, as to 
the same cons\st\ng,o{ unconformable over-lieing Basaltic masses, 
as detached parts, of the most recently formed or latest deposited 
Strata, of the district ; and on the other hand, what certain Play- 

* Lately, in a Letter from a Friend in Edinburgh, who says, that a manu- 
script copy of such parts of the Report of Mr. Farey, as have been delivered 
to the Lord Piovost and Corporation, wliich describe the Strata and relate 
■ to the Springs, is in private circulation there. It wilf remain now therefore 
to be seen, whether the Ed inbuigians, who hitherto have so readily and 
warmly entered into disputes on Geological T/ieories, will cause these lo- 
calized descriptions of the principal Strata, and their very curious ranges 
and positions, in the vicinity of their City, to be publis/ied, and candidly 
examined : and whether they will in any way call for, and make the large 
Mineral Map known, from whence, as my Correspondent says, these de- 

On the Strata of the Environs of Edinhurgh. 47 

fairian Theorists, from Dogmas more wild and fanciful, and from 
equally or more superficial Examinations, had inferred and main- 
tained, as to the King's Park mass, being a hbup of Lava, ejected, 
in comparatively modern times, with regard to the ages of the 
Strata, from the adjacent crater of an extinct Volcano, which had 
broken up through those Strata ! 

And I doubt not but Mr. Forster and Mr. Winch, and many 
others of your Readers will be pleased to hear, that the appli- 
cation of those simple and almost self-evident principles, on which 
intelligent and practical Colliers and Miners are entirely agreed, 
throughout Britain, showincontestibly, that these Basaltic Strata, 
whose edges in Arthur's Seat Hill in the King's Park (close on the 
east side of Edinburgh) are now seen standing, locally, so much 
higher than elsewhere in the immediate vicinity, are the very same 
Strata, which form the south-eastern slope and highest parts, of 
the Pentland Range of Hills; and that these same Basaltic strata^ 
regularly under-lie the great Coal Troz^g A, situated to the south- 
east, east and north-east, presenting their edges all round, from 
underneath the same, not only in Edinburghshire, but across 
the Firth of Forth into Fifeshire : the principal Trough, making 
a turn therein, first NW then W, and then SW, through Clack- 
mananshire, and again across the Forth, into Linlithgow and 
Stirling Counties, and thence towards Glasgow ; which latter 
Coal-fields, heretofore thought by many Persons, to be separate 
and distinct ones ; now, not only appear to join, by twice cross- 
ing the Forth, but the same Basaltic strata, everywhere appear 
rising from under the edges, of this complicated system of very 
crooked and branching Troughs* in the strata, in which these 
Coal-fields lie ; which principal Trough, sends off other branch 

scripiions were taken ; in order, to examine minutely into, and either ac- 
quiesce in, or confute and correct, the representation?, therein made, by 
Mr. F. : or, whether the lor.t^-promised, and now, as it is said, the furth- 
coming, " Illustrations" of Mr. Playfair, and " Geognosy" of Mr. Jameson, 
will, in silence pass over these recent Observations; whichset'ra,so strongly 
to contradict each of the Theories, which, almost every very modern Writer, 
has, untruly, and very improperly, said to be those, in favour of one of 
which, every Geologist is now agreed! !. By which unworthy artifice, so 
often and unhlushint;ly played olF, of late, the task of defending, each their 
own set of whimsical Dogmas, against the facts of Nature, and the published 
Observations of several Writers, is lessened, into that of confuting, another 
Hnd equally or nearly as absurd a set of Dogmas, which lias thus, by them- 
selves, nmtually, been conjured up into importance, for the mire purpose 
of obtaining an easy victory over it! each, — in the opinions of tiieir own 

• The term Basin, from its almost invariable application to something 
circular, or near to it, is very inapplicable to these local fields of particular 
.Strata, and should cease to be used by Geologists, who ain» at perspicuity 
and accuracy. 


48 Geological Queries regarding the Basaltic and other 

Troughs, through Iladdingtonsliire to the Coast south-east of 
Dunhar, and another through Fifeshire, to the Coast SE of St. 

It is perhaps not less important, that I should mention to Mr. 
Forster, regarding the other comparison which Mr. Winch has 
truly made, in the page already quoted, between the " Great 
Whin Sill " of Dtuhiim and Northumberland, and " the Toad- 
stone of Derbyshire;" viz. that the facts ascertained thereon, in 
1807 to ISl 1, by Mr. Farey, and conlirmed by subsequent and 
more minute observatiun«, made by Mr. Elias Hall, as is stated in 
vol. i. of Mr. F's Derbyshire Report, and in pages 1 13 to 1 15 of 
your xliid volume ; these show, that instead of mere local '*vvedge- 
shaped beds of Basalt or Lava," as the late Mr, Whitehurst (de- 
luded by the fanciful Plutonic Theory, which he was seeking to 
support) has in some parts of his '* Inquiry" stated, to exist, un- 
derground, in the Peak Hundreds ofDerliyshire, to which represen- 
tation Mr. Winch seems here alluding; that on the contrary, the 
1st crupper Tnadsione or Basaltic Rock, to which this " great 
whin sill " seems undoubtedly referable, I think, is a perfectly con- 
tinnovs stratum, (although, in places, it is very unequally thick, 
as well as variable in substance) under- lieing the adjacent Coal- 
field, with the intervention of numerous beds of Limestone (of 
the 1st Rock, separated by numerous partings and wayboards of 
Clay), as is also the case (but with considerable variations in 
thicknesses, (Sec.) completely round, wkhin the Basaltic border of 
the Lothian, Fife, Stirling-, and Lanark, &c. Coal-fields, in the 
very extensive and complicated Trough in the Strata, above- 
mentioned : as my Edinburgh Correspondent, alluded to in a 
former Note, has mentioned, from information he had derived^ 
from Mr. Farcy's recent researches and statements. 

The concluding part of my 2d Querj', in page 124 of the last 
volume, has in part been answered already by Mr. Forster, in 
p. 41 of his " Treatise," by his saying, that the " Great whin 
Sill," appears at Caldron-snout water-fall, on the Tees River : 
I shall however, be greatly obliged, by his stating in your work, if 
he can, all the requested particulars, regarding its dips there,&c. ? ; 
and also, that he will mention, all those particulars, as to the 
Strata above or below it, &c. which are visible in the upper part 
of the Tees valley, from whence he so confidently drew his con- 
clusion, years ago, that this Basaltic mass in Teesdale, is part of 
the same stratum, which appears at Dufton-fell ?. 

I am sorry Mr. W. F. appears formerly to have paid such slight 
attention to the fossil Shells, in the Ironstone balls, in the Shales, 
and in the Limestone, &a, interlaying the Coal-seams; because, 
I can assure him, that these Shells, may be made the most ini- 


Strata, Shells, ^c. of Durham, Northumherland, &c. 49 

portant helps towards identifying the Strata, where their actual 
continuity, or sufficient of the series of Strata being visible, are 
wanting, for so indicating identities ; even, by those Observers, 
who, however well and nsefullv, they \\\^.ykvow Shells, ly their 
G/>/)6'a?T/«C(5.v,whencaretully compared with each other, yet possess 
no technical or conchological knowledge, for enabling such per- 
sons, to name or deso He Shells, in Language or in Drawings, 
which would be delinite, or satisfactory, to general Naturalists, 
as was the case with Mr. fVm. Smith, the Mineral Surveyor, 
during many of the first years he was employed, in collecting and 
arranging, many hundred Shells, and other species of Organic 
Remains, each Specimen properly referred, to its local seat and 
slralum ; which Specimens, now, that they are lodged in the 
British Muieum, for tlie free use of the Public, others can, with 
the greatest facility and satisfaction, depict, name and describe, 
with all due technical accuracy. 

I have mentioned thus much, in hopes of inducing Mr. Forster 
in future, to imitate Mr. Smith herein, as far as his opportunities 
of seeing fossil Shells may extend; and, in order to refer him to 
a Paper on this subject, which you did me tlie favour to insert 
at p. 274 of your xlvth volume: and particularly, to request his 
answers to my 3d head of Queries, already referred to. 

It has given me pleasure, and I doubt not will do so to many 
of your Readers, to see, that Mr. Forster is able, so importantly 
to vindicate the character, for accuracy, of the Section of the 
Strata, which he published in the year 1809, as already men- 
tioned, as to assert, that all the latter and lower parts of the 
same, were entirely made //om his owjiolser vat ions and admea- 
surements, at several mining fields, and bassets of the strata: and 
I beg to remark, that Mr. F. would confer a further and lasting 
obligation, if he would send for insertion in your Magazine, an 
account of the steps which fie took, whether by comparing the 
overlapping or repetition of his Strata, measured in different 
Mines, l^Forks, or Places, or otherwise, for avoiding errors, in 
joining these detached observations together ? : a point on which, 
I think I remember having read the expression of some doubts, 
particularly as to the junction of the Lead- Series and the Coal- 
series, in home former volume of your Work, but which at pre- 
sent I am unable, more particularly to quote. 

Mr. Winch, Mr. Fryer, Mr. Buckland, &c. to whom my 
Queries referred to, were in the first instance more particularly 
addressed, will I hope and trust, excuse the reference also, of the 
same queries to Mr. Forster, so expressly as has now been done; 
and that the same, may not lessen the chances we had, of any 
answers thereon, from all or any of these Gentlemen, to whom — 

Vol. 50. No.231. July 1817. D Mr. 

50 Report of ihe Select Comriiittea 

Mr. Winch in particular, Geologists are already «o deeply iit- 
debted, and from whom, still, so much is expected by manvf in 
particular by, Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

Julv 12, 1817. A Constant Reader. 

VIII. Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider of 
the Means of preventing the Miscliief of Explosion from hap- 
pening on board Steam-Boats, to the Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty's Stihjects on board such Boats. 

i OUR Committee entered on the task assif^ned them, with a 
strong feeling of the inexpediency of legislative interference with 
the management of private concerns or property, further than 
the public safety should demand, and more especially with the 
exertions of that mechanical skill and ingenuity, in which the 
artists of this country are so pre-eminent, by which the labour 
of mau has been greatly abridged, the manufactures of the coun- 
try carried to an unrivalled perfection, and its commerce ex- 
tended over the whole world. 

Among these, it is impossible for a moment to overlook the 
introduction of steam as a most powerful agent, of almost uni- 
versal application, and of such utility, that but for its assistance 
a very large portion of the workmen employed in an extensive 
mineral district of this kingdom would be deprived of their sub- 

A reference to the evidence taken before your Committee, will 
also show with what advantage this power has lately been ap- 
plied, in Great Britain, to propel vessels both of burthen and 
passage, how much more extensively it has been used in America, 
and of what further application it is certainly capable, if it may 
not be said to be even now anticipated in prospect. 

Such considerations have rendered your Committee still more 
averse thnn when they entered on the inquiry, to propose to the 
House the adoption of any legislative measure, by which the 
science and ingenuity of our artists might even appear to be fet- 
tered or discouraged. 

But they apprehend that a consideration of what is due to 
public safetv has on several occasions established the principle, 
that where that safety may be endangered by ignorance, avarice 
or inattention, against which individuals are unable, either from 
the want of knowledge, or of the power, to protect themselves, it 
becomes the duty of Parliament to interpose. 

In illustration of this principle, many instances might be given; 


on Steam-Boats, 51 

the enactments respecting party-walls in building, the qualifica- 
tion of physicians, pilots, &o. the regulations respecting stage- 
coaclies,&:c. seem all to be grounded upon it. And your Com- 
mittee are of opinion, that its operation may, with at least equal 
propriety, be extended to the present case, on account of the 
disastrous consecjuences likely to ensue from the explosion of the 
boiler of a steam-engine in a passage-vessel, and that the causes 
bv which such accidents have generally been produced, have 
neither been discoverable by the skill nor controllable by the 
power of the passengers, even where they have been open to ob- 

Your Committee find it to be the universal opinion of all per- 
sons conversant in such subjects, that steam-engines of some 
construction may be applied with perfect security, even to pas- 
sage-vessels ; and they generally agree, though with some ex- 
ceptions, that those called High Pressure Engines may be safely 
Used with the precaution of well constructed boilers, and pro- 
perly adapted safety-valves; and further, a great majority of 
opinions lean to boilers of wrought iron or metal, in preference 
to cast iron. 

Your Committee therefore, in consequence, have conie to the 
following Resolutions ; which they propose to the consideration 
of the House : 

1. Resolved, That it appears to this Committee, from the 
evidence of several experienced engineers, examined before them, 
that the explosion in the steam packet at Norwich, was caused 
not only by the improper construction and materials of the boiler, 
but the safety-valve connected with it having been overloaded; 
by which the expansive force of the steam was raised to a degree of 
pressure, beyond that which the boiler was calculated to sustain. 

2. Resolved, That it appears to this Committee, that in the 
instances of similar explosions, in steam-packets, manufactories, 
and other works where steam-engines were employed, these ac- 
cidents were attributable to one or other of the causes above al- 
luded to. 

3. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that, 
for the prevention of such accidents in future, the means are 
simple and easy, and not likely to be attended with any incon- 
veniences to the proprietors of steam-packets, nor with any such 
additional expense as can eitiier be injurious to the owners, or 
tend to |)reveiil the increase of such establishments. Tin- means 
which vour Cotmnittec would recommend are comprised in the 
followintc regulations: 

That all steam-packets carrying passengers for hire, should 
be registered at the jjort nearest to the place from or to 
which they proceed: _ 

D 2 That 

52 Report of the Select Commillee 

■ That all boilers belonging to the engines by which such ves- 
sels shall be worked, should be composed of wrought iron 
or copper : 
That every boiler on board such steain-packet should, previous 
to the packet being used for the conveyance of passengers, 
be submitted to the inspection of a skilful engineer, or other 
person conversant with the subject, who should ascertain, 
by trial, the strength of such boiler, and should certify his 
opinion of its sufficient strength, and of the security with 
which it might be emploved to the extent proposed: 
That every such boiler should be provided with two sufficient 
safety-valves, one of which should be inaccessible to the en- 
gine-man, and the other accessible both to him and to the 
persons on board the packet : 
That the inspector shall examine such safety-valves, and shall 
certify what is the pressure at which such safety-valves shall 
open, which pressure shall not exceed one-third of that by 
which the boiler has been proved, nor one sixth of that 
which by calculation it shall be reckoned able to sustain. 
That a penalty should be inflicted on any person placing ad- 
ditional weight on either of the safety-valves. 
.. 4. Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to move the 
House, that leave be given to bring in a bill for enforcing such 
regulations as may be necessary for the better management of 
,steam- packets, and for the security of His Majesty's subjects 
who may be passengers therein. 
June 24, 1817. 

Mr. Donkin's 'Evidence. 

[Mr. Donkin's description of the construction of the boiler of 
the Norwich steam-boat was similar to that given in our for- 
mer Numbers; we therefore omit it.] 

Is it your opinion, that any boiler so constructed was unsafe? 
•—As a high pressure boiler, certainly. 

What do you call a high pressure ? — I should call from thirty 
pounds upwards high pressure ; the technical phrase is applied to 
engines where the motive force is given by the expansive force 
of the steam. 

Define what is the technical distinction between high pressure 
and low pressure engines ? — When water is made to boil in the 
boiler, and confined so as the steam is not allowed to make its 
escape, it continues to acquire expansive force as it receives in- 
crease of heat ; in the high pressure engine, the piston of the 
steam cylinder is forced down by the expansive force of the 
6team alone, against the resistance of the atmosphere ; when 
the piston has arrived at the bottom of the cylinder, a valve is 


on Steam- Boats. 53 

opened, and the steam is allowed to escape into the atmosphere, 
and the operation is reversed ; the piston of tlie cylinder is made 
to ascend by the same kind of force. In the condensing engine, 
or the low pressure engines, the steam having been once per- 
mitted to fill the cylinder, a communication is then made be- 
tween the cylinder in which the piston works and tlie vessel in 
which the steam is condensed: — that is the distinguishing feature 
of the two engines. I will describe a further difference, which 
contingently arises out of the use of the two : that is, in the high 
pressure engines the engineer has it at his option to use what 
degree of expansive force he, to convert an engine 
adapted for the power of five horses, or producing the power of 
five horses, to that of ten horses, or to any other extent which 
he mav think his materials capable of sustaining. In the low 
pressure or condensing engines, the steam can never be advan- 
tanseously employed above from two and a half to six pounds 
upon a square inch. 

Whatever power there is in what you call a high pressure en- 
gine, the pressure in that engine may increase the power beyond 
what it is calculated for, and by means of tliat may render it 
dangerous ? — Certainly. 

Is it your opinion, that a boiler could be made of proper ma- 
terials, with safety-valves, and under proper guard and direction, 
to make that high pressure perfectly safer — That would depend 
upon the quantity of pressme to be used ; a safety-valve might 
be carried to three hundred, or to any assignable force. I think 
that a high pressure engine may be made safe to a certain ex- 
tent, but where they are left ad libitum they never can be per- 
fectly safe. 

Do you mean to convey the idea, that it is impossible or diffi- 
cult to adapt to a high pressure engine one or two safety-valves 
joined with a mercurial gauge, acting at the same point of pres- 
sure, so as to make it equally safe with tliat upon any other con- 
struction ? — In answer to the first part of the question, relative 
to the safety-valve, I think I have answered that already; that 
we can apply a safety-valve to any degree of pressure without 
any difficulty, but that the safety of the engine does not tptally 
depend upon the safety-valve. 

State upon what other circumstances the safety of tlie engine 
depends? — Mv idea of the difficulty of obtaining a proper de- 
gree of strength at all times in the materials of wliich boilers 
may be made, arises from the constant deterioration which those 
boilers must be suffering from the action of the fire, and from 
the various degrees of expansion and contraction operating on 
<Jifferent partb of the boiler. 

Is it then "jour opinion, that in high pressure engines carried 
D 3 to 

54 Report of t lie Select Commiltee 

to that extent you nention, that danger would always operate ? 
— It would not always operate, but it would be extremely liable 
to accidents. 

In fact, you yourself would not choose to use a high pressure 
engine, from the difficulty which exists, more or less ? — 
That is my opinion. 

Have you made any calculation what would be the force re- 
quired to be used to propel a boat in navigable rivers or canals ? 
— This does not admit of a definitive answer. It depends en- 
tirely upon opinion, how far one force would be dangerous and 
another not ; but if steam-engines are emploved for the j)urpose 
of propelling boats, that may be effected with perfect safety by 
the low pressure or condensing engines, where the pressure need 
not exceed six pounds to the inch. 

Of course that must depend u])on the resistance to be made, 
and the velocity required for tiie boat ? — Then I must make 
choice of a more or less powerful engine ; I think it just to state 
to the Committee, that tliere is an advantage to lie derived from 
the use of high pressure engines on board boats, which are ne- 
cessarily loaded differently at different times ; this different load- 
ing requires a different power in the steam engine, and the high 
pressure engine is capable of having this additional power given 
to it without any difficulty, whereas in tlie low pressure engines 
they are confined to the force first assigned to them. 

What is the maximum of the low presvsure engines ? — 1 scarcely 
ever saw them beyond six pounds. 

In high pressure engines there is a great saving of fuel ? — 
There is in one, a peculiar kind of those called high pressure 
engines ; there is a considerable savins:; of fuel in Woolf 's 
engines; but in the common ones, I believe there is but little 

If therefore the engines were to be used where the saving of 
fuel would be of considerable consequence, high pressure engines 
of a certain construction would be better adiipted for that pur- 
pose than low pressure engines ? — Where ti)e saving was of much 

If engines were to be used at sea, it wojild be of considerable 
consequence, the engine and the fuel being contained in a smaller 
compass ? — Woolt's engine is not in a much smaller compass. 

When you talk of the deterioration of the boiler, how long 
would a boiler, properly constructed and constantly used, be used 
with safety? — That is extremely uncertain ; 1 have known one 
boiler worn out in six months, and another used for seven or 
fourteen years; the strength of cast-iron boilers is extremely 
uncertain; cast iron contracts in various degrees in different 
places, and therefore is liable to break. 


on Sleam-Boats. .. 55 

You think that all cast-iron boilers are dangerous? — Certainly, 
when used for .steam of high expansive force. 

In Yi'ur foiiner answer, wheie you spoke of the extreme diffi- 
culty of so regulathig high pressure engines as to insure their 
safety, did you mean to speak of those which had cast-iron 
boilers, or of both cast and wrought mela! ones ? — Chiefly as to 
the cast iron ; it is more practicable to make a boiler of tiie mal- 
leable metals to re-ist a high pressure, as far as the tenacity of 
the metals is concerned ; but another difficulty occurs, which 
prevents the apphcation of the malleable n.etals to boilers for 
high pressure engines, which is that of rendering the joining of 
the plates secure. 

Do you mean then to say, tliat wrought-iron boilers are not 
in frequent use to high pressure engines, in point of fact ? — I 
believe they are in much less fiequent use than the cast-iron 
l)'oilers; and in Woolf's engine they are scarcely used at all. 

Is not the cast-iron boiler much cheaper than the wrought? — 
I can scarcely tell that ; I should think the cast iron would be 
cheaper, if made of equal strength. 

In case of the explosion of a cast- or a wrought-iron boiler, 
which is attended with the greatest danger ? — Cast iron, un- 

Why? — From the frangible nature of the metal. 

What do you apprehend to be the common effect, in case of 
the explosion of a cast-iron boiler? — The metal is broken into 
fragments, and driven off with great violence in various direc- 

What is the effect when a wrought-iron boiler gives way? — 
Generally a rent ; but I have seen one instance of a wrought- 
iron boiler, where the whole of the upper part was rent from the 
bottom, driven through the house in wiiich it was placed, and 
carried to a consideral)le distance ; I believe several yards. 

Do you apjjreheutl, that speaking generally, and unless by 
some extraordinary circumstance, such as the wilful shutting of 
the steam-valve, there would be any rea-on to apprehend such 
an effect as you have just now mentioned, to arise from the rent- 
ing of a wrought-iron boiler? -No, I scarcely think it possible. 

Supposing the boiler to be made of wrought iron, or copper 
riveted, and safety-valves jjroperly adjusied, with a uKrcurial 
gauge also adapted in its diameter witli due regard to tlie size 
of the boiler, do you conceive that anv reasonable apj<rehcnsion 
could arise respecting tlie safety of a high pressure engine ? — I 
think ihere might; but with less apprehension as to the ("..tent 
of the destructive effect to be produced. 

You speak of less apprehension as to the de tructivf effect ; 
have the goodness to explain that ? — On account that in the 

D 4 malleable 

56 Report of the Select Committee 

malleable metals a simple rending generally takes place, it would 
seldom happen that the upper part of the boiler would be torn 
off; but in the cast iron the fragments would be scattered about, 
and be more destructive. 

Do you not know, that wronght-iron boilers have been used 
to all sorts of steam-engines for a considerable time past ? — Yes. 

Did you ever hear of any other than the single instance that 
you have mentioned, in which a vvrought-iron boiler burst in such 
a manner ? — No. 

Do you know what was the occasion of the top being blown 
off in the instance you mentioned ? — We cannot tell what was 
the immediate reason, but I suspected it to arise from the shape 
of the boiler. 

What was that shape ? — The bottom was of the usnal waggon- 
shape boiler, convex inwards; the concave part of the boiler was 
over the fire, and those who examined it with nivself imagined 
that the engine-keeper had suffered the water to l>e expended, 
or the whole of it nearly evaporated, leaving a small portion of 
it in the lag of I he boiler. 

The boilers invented by Mr. Simms and Mr. Woolf were a'l 
of them cast iron? — I believe they were; I never knew them 
make any other. 

Mr. Woolf's boiler has been in use ne^aly ten years ?— T be- 
lieve it has. 

Did you ever hear of anv accident happening to their hoiler? 
— Yes, 1 liave; I heard it stated the other day, by a brotlier-in- 
law of mine, Mr. Hall of Dartford, that he had known two or 
three accidents, but without any fatal or injurious effects. 

How many engines of the high pressure character have been 
blown up? — I have heard of several. 

Are there more than four ? — A great many more, if there are 
taken into the account those which have exploded in America as 
well as here. 

Do you consider low pressure boilers are safe from explosion 
in all instances?-— Used with no further pressure than six pounds, 

What renders them safe? — Because they never employ steam 
of high expansive force in them. 

What are the means by which they are prevented from using 
steam of high expansive force in them ? — Because it would be 
against the interest of the i)ersons using tliem to employ it. 

Is there any other guard against the condensina engine re- 
ceiving such a charge of expansive steam as will burst it, than 
the care of the engineer or the interest of the owner? — Certainly 
none; because I have known instances where they have used in 
the same engine both steam of a high expansive force, and coi)- 
(lensed it at the same time, / 


072 Steam-Boats. 57 

You have never heard of low pressure boilers blowing up ? — 
No ; I have never known of any explosion with injurious con- 
sequences ; they give way repeatedly; but do no injury. 

Is there any thing in low pressure boilers which may be de- 
pended upon absolutely, for preventing the steam acquiring an 
expansive, force beyond what is intended? — Well reguUited sai'ety- 
vaives; mercurial gauges or water gauges will at all times se- 
cure it. 

Do those means of limiting the expansive force in low pressure 
boilers continue perfectly efficacious under all circumstances of 
misconstruction and nii-^management ? — That entirely depends 
upon the construction ; I have known safety-valves fail in their 
action from bad construction. 

Can such or similar means be applied to high pressure boilers? 
Yes, certainly. 

Is not the feeding of low pressure boilers usually done by a 
column of water ; and is not this column the great reason of their 
safety ? — That is one reason, but they ought to have a safety- 
valve besides. 

Is it not the princij)al reason of their safety? — It is the most 
secure one. 

If the feeding column of water be taken away, is not the se- 
curity left to depend upon the safety-valve? — Unquestionably. 

Are low pressure boilers employed in boats always or com- 
monly fed by a column of water? — I never saw an instance of it. 

If the mechanical means which are used to render the low 
pressure boilers secure succeed, will not similar means render 
high pressure boilers secure? — As far as the expansive force is 
not permitted to arrive beyond eertain limits, so far it will af- 
ford security. , 

At what expansive force are low pressure boilers safe accord- 
ing to their usual construction ? — I have seen very few boilers 
constructed for the purpose of a low pressure engine, or a con- 
densing engine that would sustain a pressure of ten ])<)unds, with- 
out occasioning considerable leakage, or without forcing the 

Are they not very often used with a force to render them un- 
safe? — I never knew an instance of it. 

Is not the explosion of them likely to do mischief? — Not un- 
der the pressure they are capable of sustaining. 

Not even if they are made of cast iron ? — Certainly. 

Are they uniformly made of wrought iron? — No; several of 
them are made of ca t ircui. 

Are not the greater number of them made of cast iron ? — No j 
I apprehend not. 


58 Rtpuri of Ike Select CooimU tee 

Vou cannot then state to the Committee how many instances 
of explosion vou know of high pressure boilers ? — No, I cannot. 

Are they more than in low pressure boilers? — i never heard 
of an explosion in the low pressure boiler of any consequence 
whatever, merely a giving way of the plates or the wearing out 
of the boilers ; not such a bursting as can be called an explosion. 

May not every instance of explosion of the high pressure boilers 
with which you are acquainted, be traced to bad construction, 
or palpable mismanageineui? — I have never examined many of 
them, and therefore what tliey may he immediately traced to I 
do not linow ; but all the explosions I have heard of have been 
occasioned bv the u-e of steam of high expansive force; the one 
I visited at Norwich certainly arose from the defective construc- 
tion of the boiler: it was extremely ill constructed. 

Was it not as well from the palpable niismanagemcnt of the 
engineer? — That I do not know; we were told that it was; I 
have no doubt there had been very great temerity and rashness. 

Was not that high pressure boiler which blew up in London 
the other day at a sugar-house, entirely owing to the most pal- 
pable misconstruction ? — I saw the boiler after it had burst ; and 
I certainly should not have made a boiler in that shape, to have 
withstood the pressure which it was intended to bear. 

Was not that boiler made of a different thickness; one side 
of it three-quarters of an inch thick, and the other side two 
inches thick ? — Those are very nearly the dimensions ; but in 
addition to that, there was a defect in the casting, what we call 
a cold shut in the iron. 

Is not the use of high pressure steam completely in its infancy? 
. — Certainly, its introduction t» general use is of much later date 
than the low pressure steam-engines. 

It is in fact to be considered as an invention of recent date? — 
It is. 

Have not material improvements taken place in the construc- 
tion and use of high pressure boilers, in consequence of the acci- 
dents which have happened? — I conceive Woolf's mode of con- 
structing boilers to be a considerable improvement ; a very ma- 
terial one I have likewise been told, though I have never seen 
one, that Trevethick has invented ; a method of making boilers 
by increasing their length and decreasing their diameter, so as 
to render them cp.pable of sustaining pressure to a much greater 
degree than heretofore. 

Have more accidents occurred since the invention of the high 
))ressure boilers, than might have been expected from the inven- 
tion of any new system whatever in the mechanical construction 
of engines ? — Perhaps not. 


on Steam-Boats. 59 

What expansive force of steam is generally employed in those 
liigh pressure engines? — I fancy that is very variable, from 
30 pounds to 1 20 upon the square inch, or even perhaps higher 
than that. 

Instances have been known in which a boiler has been worked 
at 160 and 180 ; have there not ? — I have heard of such things, 
but I never knew of them. 

What is the proof to which high pressure I)oilers are generally 
exposed previous to their being used ? — The most eligible proof 
they ought to be exposed to is by water. 

To what pressure ? — I should think double the pressure to 
which they are intended afterwards to be subjected. 

What is the estimated force in your opinion, which would 
burst a high pressure boiler of the best construction ? — That is 
very different, because it depends upon the strength and con- 
struction of the materials ; I never entered into the calculation. 

Have not the greatest advantages been derived to the mines 
and manufactures from the use of the high pressure boilers ? — 
I believe inestimable advantages. 

Have you any doubt that Cornwall has derived an advantage 
which may be considered as incalculable from them ? — None ii| 
the world. 

Do you think, from the few accidents which have occurred in 
the use of them, there is any better argum.ent to be brought 
against the permitting them to be employed, than could be de- 
rived from the accidents which have arisen in the explosion of 
•gunpowder in the clearing passages in the mines ? — No, not as 
applied to the mines, certainly. 

You have mentioned that security is afforded to the engine by 
feeding the boiler by a column of water; from what does that 
eecurity arise ? — The pressure from the steam in the boiler could 
never rise to a force greater than that which would be equal to 
the pressure of the column of water ; whenever it did arrive at 
that pressure, or beyond that pressure, the water would be blown 
out and the steam would follow. 

You have stated, that in the steam-vessels used upon rivers, 
this precaution is not resorted to ? — I never saw one, and it 
would be extremelv inconvenient. 

For what reason ? — On account of the undulations the water 
would be subject to ; it v/ould be thrown out of tlie pipe from 
the motion of tlio vessel; and other inconveniences wonhl arise, 
such as bringing the pipe through the deck of tiie vessel. 

Do you apprehend that a mercurial gauge would l)e exposed 
to the same inconveniences? — Certainly, I do; the altitude 
would be lessened by every new assumed position of tiie vessel ; 
that is, if u tube placed verticallv at iut^t, should by the action 


60 Report of ike Select Committee 

of the vessel assume a diagonal or an oI)lique position, the alli- 
tude of the column would be lessened, and its consequent pres- 
sure upon the steam lessened. 

Are you of opinion that there would be much difficulty iii 
guarding against such an inconvenience as that? — Yes, 1 think 
there would, generally speaking; but a well constructed safety- 
valve would answer all the puijioses. 

Are not the safety-valves applied to the low pressure engines, 
even when the column of water is used to supply the boiler? — 
Most frequently thev are; I have seen some without. 

Did you never bear of the pressure in a condensing engine 
being raised bv mismanagement as high as 19 or 20 pomids 
per inch? — No; I do not recollect that I ever met with such a 
circumstance ; I have no doubt that it has taken place. 

If such a circumstance may take place with a low pressure 
engine, do not you think that, according to the general calcula- 
tion of the strength of their boilers to resist the usual pressure 
to which thev are subjected, more danger would arise than in 
almost anv case wl.ich could happen to a higli pressure engine 
with a boiler properly adapted? — No, decidedly not; according 
to the genera! construction of low pressure boilers, they are so 
riveted together to withstand the low pressure they are intended 
to bear, and they alwavs give indications of an increase of pres- 
sure long before I should apprehend any danger from it; I mean 
t)y the joints giving way, and the steam forcing a passage through 

Do vou mean to apply that fo the cast-iron boilers ? — No, 
certainly not; to the wrought-iron or copper boilers. 

The question before put was meant to apply to a low pres- 
sure engine, fitted up with a cast-iron Ixjiler? — As applied 
to the cast-iron boiler, I should say, that being constructed to 
bear a less degree of expansive force, an explosion would sooner 
take place, and tlierefore would be less dangerous. 

Less dangerous in comparison with what ? — With a high pres- 
sure boiler. 

Do you mean to sav, that an explosion of the cast-iron boiler 
of a low pressure engine which should be burst by an improper 
degree of pressure, would be less dangerous tiian the rending of 
a wrought-iron boiler, occasioned by a much higher degree of 
pressme? — I gave my answer as connected vvith the former 
question, with regard to the liability to danger from low pressme 
boilers ; I take for gratited, that if a boiler is constructed to be 
applied to a low pressure engine, that a commensurate strength 
will be applied to the materials of the boiler, and that in the 
case of applying a boiler to a high pressure engine, an adequate 
s-trcnglh must be used there to the pressure intended ; therefore, 


on Steam-Beats, 61 

)f the low pressure boiler by any accident should be exploded, 
generally speaking, boilers made of the malleable metals must be 
much safer on an explosion taking place, at least they are not 
calculated to do so much mischief as the cast-iron boilers. 

Have you made any experiments, or are you acquainted ac- 
curately with the effect of such as have been made upon the dif- 
ferent quantities of fuel consumed in the high and the low pressure 
engines, in proportion to the quantity of power produced ? — I 
have witnessed several experiments on Woolf's engines, where 
the object was to ascertain the comparative expenditure of coals 
or fuel in grinding corn between his engines and the low pressure 
or condensing engines, and the results were decidedly in favour 
of Mr. Woolf's engines. 

Vou cannot speak as to the high pressure engines commonly 
in use ? — I apprehend there is no saving of fuel, or very little ; 
there may be a little. 

What was the saving of fuel by Woolf's engine, as compared 
with the other? — The average effect in one case was the grinding 
eighteen bushels of wheat with one bushel of coals ; the other 
average effect of Bolton and Watt's engine, or the low pressure 
engines, is the grinding of from ten to twelve bushels of wheat 
with a bushel of coals. 

Do you know whether the power of the engines in lifting water, 
may fairly be reckoned at the same proportionable difference? — 
Yes ; I believe they may. I do not speak from experiments ; 
but I have no doubt as to the effect ; by the reports from Corn- 
wall, I am led to suppose it may be much greater. 

Have you seen any account of the explosion of the steam- 
engine ou board a boat in America, within a few weeks past? — 
No ; I have not. I understand there has been one. 

From any information you received at Norwich, did you hear 
of any conduct of the manager of that boat, which occasioned 
the explosion of the boiler? — No; the information I did re- 
ceive upon that subject, was since we returned to London. 

Mr. Thomas Lean's Evidence. 

Will you state your profession, and place of abode ? — I reside 
at Crowan in Cornwall, and 1 am employed i)y nearly tiie whole 
of the miners in Cornwall to inspect their engines, and make 
monthly reports of the work they perform. 

You are then well acquainted with steam-engines of every va- 
rious comtruction ? — Certainly 1 am; I see fifty-seven every 

Do you conceive that there is any material difference in tlie 
rebpective safety of those engines ? — Some of the engines are 
i:crtainlv bufer than others. 


6^ Heport of the Select Commit lee 

. Be so good as to state which, and why? — I conceive there is 
no danger whatever in the use of high pressure steam-engines ; 
and for this reason, that in general, for an engine that is in- 
tended to be worked with high steam, the materials are made 
stronger in proportion than the materials used for steam of low 

VViiat are the precautions which you think it necessary to take, 
in order to render a high steam-engine perfectly safe from acci- 
dent ? — The materials should be made strong enough, and there 
is no difficulty in doing that; and there is a good deal depend- 
ing on the construction of the safety-valve, which should be so 
constructed as to go quite easy and without any possibility of 

■ Do you not think it of importance, if not necessary, that a 
boiler should have two safety-valves ? — Certainly; and every high 
j)ressure steam-engine that I attend to has two safety-valves. 

Do not vou coniine one of those from the engine-man ? — Not 
in anv in<;tance. 

Should you or not think it necessary, on board a boat for pas- 
sengers worked by a steam-engine, that there should be an ad- 
ditional safety-valve to the boilers which the engine-man could 
not come at to prevent its operation ? — That would certainly be 
very desirable, and I should think necessary. 

Have vou anv choice, in point of safety only, between a boiler 
constructed of cast iron or of wrought iron? — Were I to have a 
boiler where I wished to have.the greatest strength, I would cer- 
tainly have it made of cast iron ; I have not one doubt that a 
cast-iron boiler can be made much stronger than it is possible 
to make a wrought iron one ; in fact, the explosions that we 
have had in Cornwall have ail been in wrought-iron boilers, but 
l never had one in cast-iron boilers, nor have we had an acci- 
dent from high pressure steam ; ail the accidents have been from 
low piessure si earn in Cornwall. 

To what do you attribute that? — I attribute that to the 
boilers not having their proportionate strength to the weight 
thev ought to iiear, that the high pressure steam-engines have. 

Of vvh;it nature are thn^e failures which usually happen in the 
wrought iron boilers? — Tiie one which I witnessed the explosion 
of, threw off the man-hole door. 

Do you mean that the bolts by winch the man-hole door was 
secured, gave way? — Yes. 

Are there not man-hoi;a to cast-iron boilers ? — There are. 

Then might not the best constructed and the strongest cast- 
iron boilers have been equally liable to the accident you have 
been mentioning, from the mere failure of the bolts, by which 
the vnau-hole door was secured? — Certainly not, and for this 


on Sleam-Boats. fiS 

reason, the man-hole door to a cast-irort boiler ia contrived to 
be on the inside ; it does not depend upon bolts at all as they 
are con-tnicted with us, it bears against the side of the boiler. 

Would it not be c(]uallv easy to affix man-holes so constructed 
to u'roui:ht-iron boilers? — There is no difficulty in doing it, 
eitlier one way or the other. 

Supposing a cast-iron boiler and a wrought-iron boiler to be 
exploded in' having too great a pressure applied, from which of 
the explosions siiould you apprehend the greatest danger? — I 
think the danger is ecjual from one as the other. 

In what manner do you apprehend then, that a cast-iron boiler 
would explode? — Probaby there might be some prrts of the 
cast-iron boiler separate; and the wrought-iron boiler would 
probablv rend. 

Should you not then apprehend a greater danger from the ex- 
plosion of a boiler which burst into fragments, than from one 
which only rent ? — In every boiler that is built, there is one part 
of it weaker than another, and it is hardly possible for a boiler 
to be thrown about in fragments to do mischief. I should not 
feel any hesitation to sit on the cast-iron boilers I have seen in 
Cornwall when an explosion took place 5 I am convinced the 
explosion would take place at the under part. 

Do you think it necessary or advantageous that those boilers 
should be proved at their first erection, and that that proof 
should afterwards be repeated at intervals ? — It is certainly de- 
sirable it should be done at the first erection; they ought always 
to be proved ; the cast-iron boilers which have come under my 
notice in Cornwall, I calculate to be sufficient to resist at least 
thirteen times the pressure of steam we have ever u^ed in them. 

To what heat are those boilers usually proved ? — We work in 
general forty pounds to an inch in the high pressure boilers, and 
we prove them sometimes as high as three hundred. 

By a proof of this nature, so much within the supposed capa- 
city of resistance of a boiler, you do not apprehend that any risk 
is incurred of injuring it? — Certainly not. 

And you yet conceive, that the proof is so far beyond the or- 
dinary resistance which is required from the boiler, as that there 
is no danger whatever of its bnrsting with a pressure of fortv or 
fifty pounds an inch, when it has been proved by a pressure of 
three hundred? — Certainly not. 

Do you apprehend, that it is perfectly easy so to constriict 
and to secure your safety-valves, as that no engine-man, how- 
ever careless, shall be able to raise the steam beyond the pres- 
sure of forty or fifty pounds per inch ? — There certainly is not the 
least difficulty in it. 

You apprehend then, that with a boiler so constructed, so 


64 Report of the Select Committee o?^ Steam-Boats. 

proved, and so guarded against carelessness, there would be no 
danger whatever in any situation ? — Certainly not ; neither in a 
steani-hoat or an engine employed in a manufactory or mines, 
or in any manner whatever. 

As to the ceconoujy in the use of coals, what is your opinion ? 
— Mv opinion is, that the high pressure engines in Cornwall 
have saved at least two- fifths of the whole consumption of coals 
in the county; in some instances it has saved three -fifths. 

What means have you of ascertaining that fact? — In the pur- 
suance of my ordinary employment, I attend to the various en- 
gines in Cornwall, and compute their duty; the quantity of coals 
that is consumed by the engines is rendered to me on oath ; it 
is the same that is sworn to at the Custom-house. The ascer- 
taining the weights which the engine lifts is carefully and cor- 
rectly measured ; and from this I calculate the work performed 
by the engines, of which I make a monthly report, and find, that 
those engines which work with a high pressure steam are more 
ceconomical in their operations than those of the low pressure, 
so much so, that were the low pressure steam engines to be in- 
troduced into the mines of Cornwall, it would stop upwards of 
two-thuds of them. 

Is the paper which you have, one of those accounts? — It is 
the account for the last month. 

[It was delivered in, and read ; — Extracts from these Reports 
are given regularly in the Phil. Mag.] 

And this account you declare, upon your own knowledge, to 
be accurate as to the particulars it contains ? — I do. 

Do you consider it as important to the safety of an engine, 
that the boiler should be frequently cleansed ? — If a boiler is 
foul, if there is a quantity of mud in it, it may prevent the water 
from coming in contact with the iron, and in that case the boiler 
is liable to injurv; 1 have known a wrought-iron boiler to burst 
from that very cause ; I never knew a cast-iron boiler to explode 
in any instance. 

Is there anydifficulty in subjecting the boiler to the usual proof, 
every time it is cleansed ? — There is no difficulty whatever, any 
other than having the apparatus prepared for it, which is very 
easily done. 

Is that apparatus either expensive, or difficult of construction, 
or of application ? — No. 

Can it be applied with ease by any engine-man or engine pro- 
prietor, who is at all accjuainted with the construction or working 
of a steam-engine ? — Yes ; and the management of it is so plain 
that no person can misimderstand it, if they are unacquainted 
with all 'the other parts of the engine. 

In what does this proof consist, and how is it performed ?— 


Notices reipecling New Sooks. 65 

The proof consists of first filling the boiler with water, and then 
loafihig the saft-tv-valve to any point required ; then injecting 
water by a forcing pump, till the safety-valve, with tlie additional 
wei^;ht upon it, is raided. 

Have you anv other suggestions to make on the subject of the 
safety of steam-engines, besides what you have already said ? — 
I think :iot. 

IX. Notices respecting New Books. 

y4n Inqui'y into t he progressive Colonization of the Earth, and 
the Origin cj Nations ; illustrnttd hi/ a Map of the Geo- 
graphy/ of Ealesiaslical and Ancinnt Civil Liistory. By 
T. Heming, (J Magdalen Uall, Oxon. 

W E have read this work with attention, and examined the 
large map, with which it is accompanied, with some degree of 
care. The whole exhibits much patient, and, when the nature 
of the in([uiry is considered, we may add successful investigation. 

The title of the work expresses sufficiently its object. How- 
ever serviceable detached "sc>aps of chorography," embodied 
under the name of '' an atlas," may be to those who have al- 
ready attained proficiency in the science, there is great incon- 
venience in being obliged, while reading, to turn from one de- 
tached survey to another, and so to combine them as to obtain 
satisfaction. To obviate this, "and to facilitate i)y the most 
approved mode the acquirement of correct ideas, regarding the 
circulation of human societies through the remotest periods, it 
was designed to compass, in a general map, the whole scope of 
territory connected with the sacred, civil, and profane writings 
of antiquity, on such a competent scale as appeared sufficient 
for every requii^ite illustration, from the first colonial migrations 
of mankind, to the rise of the present nations of the earth, and 
still to confine the same within such a dimension, as might ren- 
der it convenient for the most ordinary and general application 
and reference." 

But the author had first to settle his point of departure — the 
second cradle of the human race. For this purpose the tradi- 
tions, for they deserve not the name of records, of the Egyptians, 
the Assyrians, the Chinese, the Phoenicians, the Scythians, the 
Indians, the Persians, and Arabians ; and the writings of Ho- 
mer, Hesiod, Thales, Pythagoras, Plato, Hecata;us, Berosus, 
Abydenus, Alexander Polyhistor, Demetrius, Diodorus Siculus,&:c. 
are examined, and compared with the writings of the Jewisli 
law-giver. This subject occupies the author's first chapter, which 
he concludes with the following deductions: 

Vol. 50. No. 231. July 1817. E «' First— 

66 Notices respecting Neiv Books. 

" First — That there is not to be found, in all the rival nfiontl- 
nients of antiquitVj any authority equivalent to, or that can in 
the least degree invalidate, the nioninrial of Moses. 

" Secondly — That his writings are of so i)re-eminent and ex- 
traordinary a quality, that tlie greatest efforts of human subtlety 
and art seem to have been often incifectually exerted to counter- 
feit and uulhfy them. 

" Thirdly — That the must profound sages — the most con- 
ceited theorists — the most celel>rated historians — the most ro- 
mantic poets and discursive geniuses of every paran age and 
country seem to have resoited to his pages for iuioimation, and 
to have borrowed thence their oiilv true notions regarding the 
primitive afl'airs of the earth ; and that what they have feigned 
to deny as infidels, theorists, and enthusiasts, thcv have involun- 
tarily admired and espoused as historians, critics, and philoso- 

" Fourthly — That the Pentateuch seems ever to have been 
the only source of faithful intelligence respecting the formation 
of the earth, and the rise of human society; and which its most 
illiberal and malevolent adversaries directly or indirectly authen- 

" And lastly — That being, as it appears to be, inianimously 
attested by the whole world as the paramount evidence of the 
renovation of mankind after the flood, and of the first dispersion 
into colonies, it establishes for us those facts which no other volume 
in the world contains, and from which the history of the pre:-ent 
population and political cantonments of the earth must neces- 
sarily be derived." 

This leads the author to another inquiry. The testimony of 
Moses being found more consistent and satisfactory than any 
documents that have been compared with it ; how come tlie 
moderns so far to disregard his authority ".s to place Ararat, 
where the ark rested, in Armenia, almost due norlh of Shinar ? 
Moses says expressly, that the builders of Babel "journeyed 
frum the east." Where then should the Ararat of Moses be 
sought for ? To this inciuirv the author devotes the whole of 
his second chapter, which we shall quote entire. 

" Inquiry concerning the Place of the Mountains of Ararat . 

" 'And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth 
day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.' Gen. viii. 4. 

" ' And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that 
they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.' 

" But before we proceed to the peak of Ararat, or the sum- 
mit of Babel, to mark therefrom the overspreading of the earth 
by the posterity of Noah, we must endeavour to decide the geo- 

Notices respecting New Books* 67 

graphical position of the former. With respect to the latter, it 
is required to be understood that it is the point uniformly alluded 
to vvhen speaking of the plains of Shinar in the future parts of 
this inquiry. 

" With regard to the situation of Ararat, even many of the 
pious fathers seem to have paid too much attention to legendary 
tradition, and too little to the pure fact : for it is certainly not 
reconciieable to good faith in Moses to say, that Mount Ararat, 
where the ark rested, is north, or north-bearing-west, of Shinar, 
vvhen he has so ex]ilicitly said, that the people came thither from 
the east: and how learned and orthodox commentators could 
ever have been persuaded to adopt the mountain called Ararat, 
in Armenia, as ' the landing place,' is very unaccountable, as 
there is nothing but the name and traditi'onnry report to au- 
thorize such a coujectin-e; and this quite contrary t{) the express 
words of Moses. That Ararat was eastward of Shinar, as the 
divine historian hath told us, there are many circumstances to 
show; but there can be no true judgement" without evidence: 
therefore we will proceed to examine the authorities on both 
sides of the question. 

" Epiphanius, Basil, Jerome, Eusebius, Berosus, Josephus, 
Nicholas Damascenus, and more, mention reports that part of 
the ark was to be seen in their times on the Gordicean mountains 
which are in the south of Armenia: and the last-mentioned of 
them says ' that there is a mountain in Armenia called Baris, 
which in the Coptic language signifies a ship, ' whither,' as tlie 
tradition goes, ' some persons escaped in an ark, from the great 
flood ; and that pieces of the wood were there seen for many 
ages after.' 

" Now the positive testisnony of either of these men would 
have been weighty; but the reports which they have listened to 
are nothing more than fume. 

*' Elmasinus says, ' be went up Mount Gordus and viewed 
the place wheie the ark rested,' but does not say he saw the 
ark there. 

^^' There are other similar accounts in Bochart, Josephus, 
Wells, &c. but they are all equally superficial and unsatisfactory. 

" Herbert says, ♦ that the higlicst mountain in Armenia is 
called Baris;' which he imagines is also called Damoan — 'that 
it is between Armenia and Media — that he and his company rode 
up to the top, whence thef had a prospect of the Caspian Sea, 
though lf)0 miles off — that there are numbers of Jews about the 
village of Damoan at the foot of the mountain, who say they 
are the offspring of those transported thither by Salmonasyar, 
2 Kings xvii. 6 — that they have never changed their seats, ?,nd 
that they, have a constant tradition tliat the ark rested upon the 
K 2 mountain.' 

(>8 Notices respecting New Boohs. 

mountain.' Herbert is here speaking as tlioHgli he thought 
these Jews reiilly knew sometliing about the matter, when they 
must be as igi:o!ai!t on the .>ul)ject as the people of Del Fuego : 
for whether tiiey belonged to tiie race of Jews carried off by Sal- 
monav'^ar, or not, it is ju^t the same, as it was 1600 years after 
the flood that the Assyrian king transported his captives ; so 
that, even of traditions, ucue could be n.ore flimsy — l.ow should 
ftrargers who knew nothing of the country for 1600 years after 
the event get hold of tliL-ir tradition? 

" Sir John Chaidin informs us tliat Ararat lies twelve leagues 
east of Erivan. Ke considers it the same as the Gordiaean 
Mountiir.s. ' The Armenians,' says this traveller, ' have a 
tradition that the ark is st'Il on the top of it — the mountain is 
totally destitute of inhabitants, and perpetually covered half-way 
from the top with snow.' 

" Stiuvs, another traveller thither, is more minute in his ac- 
count of Ararat. After a description of the stone and minerals 
of the rock, he tells us, ' that he went up the mountain to cure 
a hermit who was secluded there, of a rupture — thai it is sur- 
rounded bv several rows of clouds, the first of which is dark and 
thick ; the next e.\treme!y ccld, and full of snow; and the third 
so intensely cold that he was scarcely able to endure it — that 
above this upj)er:nost stratum, and where the hermit's cell was, 
the air was quite mild and temperate — and the recluse declared 
to him, that ' he had neither ftlt a breeze of wind nor a drop 
of rain for twenty-five years, which was the time he had lived 
upon the rock' — that he untlier told him, ' that the air on the 
top was muci) more calm than wlicrc he resided — that it was 
not subject to change — and th;\t, therefore, tl;e ark continued 
undecayeu' — that he obtained Lorn the hermit a piece of wood 
of a brownish-red colour; and a piece of the rock on which he 
alleged ' that tlie ark rested ;' in attestation of which he gave 
Struvs a certificate to the following effect: 

" ' Ccrlificale. — I with mine own hand cut off from t'^e ark 
the piece of wood made in the form of a cross ; and broke off 
from the rock, on which the ark rested, that same piece of 
stone.' (Signed) ' Domimcus Alexander Romanus. 

' Dated M )iint Ai:u itt, July 22, 1G70.' 

" Struys also informs us, ' that he was seven days travelling 
from Erivan to this mountain ;' and ' that it is an entire rock 
without earth, trees, or verdure upon it.' He has given lis a 
map of the Caspian Sea, from which it appears that Ararat is 
towards the western coast of that sea, north of the river Kir, and 
somewhere about the southern extremity of Caucasus; being 
about 300 miles eust-bearing-northward from Erivan. 

" Theveuot, and other travellers, bring us also reports; but 


Notices respecting New Books. 69 

vary in the position of this mountain ; so that, if any one of 
them is right, all the others are wrong: and every thing vve are 
able to gain from these authors is, in the end, wliat Moses has 
briefly informed us; namely — that Ararat was the resting-place 
of the ark. 

" What in the world could have possessed Mr.Strnys ? Surely 
it was very tame of such an enterprising traveller to turn back — 
after having surmounted the regions of clouds, and finding him- 
self in such a serene climate, not to have visited the stupendous 
hulk ! especially as he had such good surety of its being there, 
and in such excellent repair — not to have explored everv corner 
of that mighty carrack, moored so high, which had once con- 
tained such an inestimable cargo — not to have followed up the 
grand effort, and have pacified for ever the eager solicitude which 
must still hang about this interesting mystery — to come away 
satisfied, after climbing so high, with that bit of splinter— and, 
that piece of stone ! 

^' Wells has inserted Ararat in his maps almost duly north of 
Babylon, and nearly sixty miles westward of Erivan ; but I have 
no idea upon what authorities. 

" Cellarius says, that most interpreters take the Gordiaean 
mountains to be Ararat; and which are either a part of Taurus, 
or near it. In the Targuni of Onkelos the mountains of Ararat 
are translated the mountains of Cardu ; and in the Targum of 
Jonathan they are rendered tlje mountains of Kadrun. 

" Many of the other commentators, whose notions are con-» 
fined to Armenia, extend the interpietaticn, and say, the moun- 
tains of Ararat — the Gordiaean mountain^ -the Armenian moun- 
tains — using the plural, as we find it in Genesis, without pre- 
tending to fix upon anv particular tor. But Moses did not speak 
obscurely, nor is it to be allovv-cd tiiat he spoke insignificantly, 
when he said ' thev journeyed from the east:' therefore, to be 
ferreting about Armenia, for ihe sake of a string of contradictory 
rumours, is tantamount to a dereliction of faith, and a gross ab- 
surdity; because it is following rumour rather than fact: audit 
is pretty certain, that rumour can never cause the sun to rise in 
the north, nor the magnet to ipiit its old ]jropensity. Indeed it is 
almost past supposition, that rumour should have withdrawn so 
many, from a point so plain and positive. What is categorically 
announced should be literally interpreted: — let us, therefore, try 
|;ho fact against the rumour. 

" In the first place, it is far from unlikely that Ararat is a 
priqiitive word, which generate*! out of the particular circum- 
stance ^o which it refers ; as the o|iinions respectii'g its precise 
etymon and signification are as vague and inconclusive as about 
jtb place. We must notice, that Mosea applieh it extensively, 
E 3 unci 

Notices respecting New Books. 

and not locally, by using it in the plural. This word may have 
been afterwards transferred as a name, applicable to Armenia, 
without the slightest reference to the ark: for in the space of 
from 700 to 900 years, which elapsed from the time of Moses to 
the ages of Isaiah and Jeremiah, great changes in countries must 
have taken place ; and in those early establishments, nothing 
was long durable. As to names, they were the most fickle parts 
belonging to countries; for a name was easily carried from place 
to place, though a territory could not ; so that, analogy of name, 
though found in Scripture, is no demonstration of identity; and 
Isaiah and Jeremiah allude to very foreign matters, in their men- 
tion of Ararat, to what Moses did. Indeed wc might as well look 
for Damascus in the Desert of Arabia, as for the ark in Armenia; 
for the land of Uz is in the Arabian Dessert, and Damascus is ia 
the land of Uz: but we know that Damascus is not in Arabia; 
and therefore, we reason, that these must be two distant coun- 
tries named alike. 

" Now had the two great prophets spoken counter to Moses, 
it would have been much more melancholv and awful ; and which 
they would certainly have done, if they had said that the ark 
grounded in Armenia: but, they neither wrote to conduct us to 
the ark, nor to lure us into any contrary pinsuit; and we must 
here endeavour to persuade ourselves, that Ararat on the north, 
is not Ararat on the east, of Shinar ; and that there is no con- 
tradiction between Moses and the two prophets ; because, one 
event preceded the other nearly 1700 years; and because, the 
incidents were as foreign from one another, as they were distant 
in time. 

" In our endeavour, then, to arrive at the truth, we cannot 
do better than retrace the geographical rhumb, which Moses has 
laid down for us, from Ararat to Shinar. In our progress along 
this track, from the position of the latter place, we come to that 
long and elevated range of mountains which some of the ancient 
writers have considered to be a continuation of Taucus and 
Caucasus ; and which extend, according to Quintus Curtius, in 
an eastern direction all through Asia, even to the coast of China. 
From this grand ridge, several collateral branches stretch, from 
different points, towards the north and towards the south, and 
at the western cxtreuiity of which are the Gordisean mountains of 
Armenia, part of which is supposed, by some of the authors we 
have mentioned, to be the Ararat where Noah alighted after the 
flood ; so that, the resting-place of the ark may yet have been on 
these same mountains, though not in Armenia. 

" Procopius says, that the Macedonians called the part of these 
mountains, on the eastern frontier of Persia, which had been, 
previously called Paropamisus, by the name of Caucasus, in com- 


Notices respecting New Booh. 71 

pliment to the victories which their hero Alexander won in 
those parts of the world. 

*' From this it has been erroneonsly imagined that the moun- 
tains of Taurus and Caucasus form a junction towards the south- 
west of the Caspian Sea, and continue on to India j and hence 
some have said that the ark rested on Taurus, and others have 
told us that it rested on Caucasus : but Caucasus commences on 
the north-eastern part of the Euxine, and proceeds in a rather 
south-eastern course, to the west shore of the Caspian, near to 
the mouth of the river Kir, where it ceases : and the heights of 
Taurus rise in the west of Asia Minor, and afterwards strike into 
two branches; one of whicli terminates at the river Euphrates, 
and the other, running north-east, ceases at the eastern side of 
the Euxine — therefore, if the declaration of Moses is to be veri- 
fied, these mountains of Taurus and Caucasus have nothing to 
do with Noah and the ark; and what we find to have been 
falsely called Caucasus, we must, according to the information 
of Procopius, consider to be Paropamisus. 

" It h '.s been alleged by Buno, that these mountains of Persia 
are so high that the sun shines upon the tops of them during a 
third part of the night, 

" It is remarked by the Holstein ambassadors, who visited 
Persia about two centuries ago under Brugman, that Curtius is 
not altogether wrong in saying that tliese mountains extend all 
through Asia; 'because the heights of Ararat and Taurus so 
nearly join them,' say these ambassadors, ' that they appear to 
be one concatenation of mountains.' 

" Wilson's Asiatic Researches record some traditions of the 
Indians resjjecting the antediluvian ages; the flood; and the 
preservation of the remnant of mankind. He says, * there is a 
mountain in the province of Candahar, that is called Aryavart, 
or Aryawart ; on which, the tradition of that country says, the 
ark lodged.' 

'* This is a part of the ancient Aria or Ariana, (a very ex- 
tensive country in the east of Persia, in the earlier ages :) and 
hereabouts we find several dialects remaining, of the Targum 
translations of Ararat, before mentioned, attached to different 
parts of the country; as Caiulau, ('aiulu, Gaur, Goura, Gor, 
Gorgian, Ike. Here also, besides Aria, Ariana, and Aryavart, 
are Herat, or Harat, Arsarath, Yeiac, Ilcrac, &c. And we may 
further remark, that in the Persian and Indian vocabulary the 
termination at is very fre<|uent ; as Amadabat, Surat, Guzerat, 
Gehan-aiiat, Estarabat, &;c. 

'* In so oljscure a matter wc must lay hold of every little light; 

but, were there not evidences stronger than these, our attempt 

would be to no purpose. When a stream beconies so clogged 

E 4 and 

72 Notices respecting New Books. 

and choked as this is, there is scarcely a possibility of delving 
through all the obstacles with which the versatility of time, the 
roots of prejudice and error, and the fashions and corruptions of 
language have conspired to fill it: and though it may be possi- 
ble to remove some of the obstructions collected about its source, 
so as to get it to trickle, yet shall we never be able to come ex- 
actly to the fountain-head ; and it would be a us^eless and un- 
profitaljje appropriation of time to attempt it, since what is im- 
possible cannot be. But, very fortunately for us, it happens that 
such nicety is by no means indispensable to the success of the 
argument we are upon; which requires only, that we should de- 
duce no judgement but what is conformable to the declaration of 
Moses ; and tliat, suijjccting ourselves to this restriction through- 
out, we should endeavour to work our way, as near as the cir- 
cumstances will allow, towards the truth." 
[ Vo be CDnmiucd.j 

Mr. Accum has in the press, " Chemical Amusement," com- 
prising a Series of curious and insrructive Experiments in Che- 
mistry, which are easily performed and unattended by danger. 


Mr. Newman, Soho-Square, has just published a work en- 
titled " Chromatics ; or. An Essay on the Analogy and Harmony 
of Colours." 

Speedily will be published, in one volume octavo, A Practical 
Inquiry into the Causes of the frequent Failure of the Operations 
of extracting and dej)ressing the Cataract ; and the Description 
of a new and improved Series of Operations, by the Practice of 
which most of these Causes of Failure mav be avoided. Illus- 
trated by Tables of the comparative Success of the old and new 
Operations. By Sir William Adams. 

The first number of a new periodical work, entitlpd " .Tournal 
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia," has just 
reached this country from America. It contains, 1. Description 
of six new species of the genus Firula, from the Mediterranean, by 
MM. Le Sueur r^ud Peron; with a plate. 2. An account of the 
new mountain-sheep, Ovis moniana, by Mr. George Ord; with a 
wood-engraving ot the horn of the animal. 3. A description of 
seven American water and land Shells, by Mr. Tho. Say. The 
work ends with an invitation to naturalists to make use of the 
Journal ars a medium of communicating science. 

It is expected and hoped that Mr. Abernethy will publish his 
very excellent observations on the discoveries of the late cele- 
brated John Hunter in comparative and human Anatomy, de-. 


Notices respecting iVetf Books. 73 

livered at the College of Surgeons during his Lectures. — ^This 
gentlcmnu has shown that we are in reality indebted to Hunter 
for manv facts in natural history, &c. plagiarized by the mo- 
dern writers on physiology. The publication of his Introductory 
Lectures, relating to Hunter's Theory of Life, &c. &c. were 
omitted to be mentioned in the Philosophical Magazine. They 
contained a sort of summary of the physiological opinions of 
that acute and truly philosophical reasoner. Among other things 
which the author has ably handled, we may reckon his T-marks 
on the vital priuciple as' some of the best,— not because any 
theorv of life'is therein established on demonstrative evidence, 
and placed beyond all controversy— for the obscurity of the sub- 
ject renders this impossible — but because on a subject in itself 
purely thforetical he has followed a course of reasoning fotiuded 
on the observance, and strictly philosophical throughout, and 
which is more consistent with the common sense of the thinking 
part of mankind in all ages past, as well as with popular feeling, 
than anv other modern theory of life, or philosophy of mind- 
It is in this respect eminently contrasted to that confused farrago 
of scarcely intelligible wordsin which some modern writers have 
attempted, in humble imitation of the French school of philoso- 
phy, to convey and establish the gloomy and misanthropic doc- 
trine of materialism, and thus confound the distinction of au- 
tomatic and animal life— opinions which, however prevalent they 
may still be among the unreflecting people of France, are dady 
losing ground in Germany, Scotland, and our own country, and 
are giving place to a more rational philosophy. 

A work is in contemplation, and it will probably be shortly 
laid before the public, entitled " History of the Helvetian, Au- 
strian, Apennine, Pvrenean, and Northern Floras," considered 
with respect to the' points of origin from which the different 
families of plants have travelled to the valleys and plams, and 
become mixed together; illustrated by a Botanical Map of the 
legions assigned to each. 

X. IiitelUgence and Miscellaneous Articles. 

To Mr. Tdloch. 
Sia _ I write chiefly with a view to correct the latter para- 
graph of the description of "Steele's Nooth's apparatus," which 
shouM stand thus: " The impregnation is very soon effected, as 
the luessure is great ; and as the parts are fitted by accurate 
grinding, much lroul)le and inconvenience arc saved, from the 
usual method of luting being avoided." I tl' k 

74 The Davy, — Sleam-Ejiginet in C&ntwall. 

I think it extremely hard that our feelings should be lacerated 
by the obstinacy of prejudice or error in neglecting to use "the 
Davy" in mines subject to the fire-damp. — Tlie accident at the 
(Colliery near Durham is a sad example of the too palpable truth, 
that we have yet much to encounter in its universal adoption. 
Much pains have been taken indeed, by persons who ought to 
have known better, to unhinge the mind in the belief of its ab- 
solute safety. I am ready at any time to prove, at the risk of 
ray life, that it yields a perfect security to the miner. I have 
lately had a most decided proof of this in one of the collieries 
at the Hurlet near Paisley. The mine in question had been 
abandoned upwards of twelve months, by reason of the accumu- 
lated and still accumulating fire-damp. The experiment afforded 
a spectacle of the most beautiful and impressive kind, — The gra- 
dual approach to the confines of the explosive waste was indi- 
cated by the included flame of the lamp presenting a lengthened 
spire, so as ultimately to brush the dome of the cylinder ; — on 
passing this boundary the wire-gauze became suddenly red hotf 
and the flame of the wick was enveloped by the apparition of a 
foreign flame which continued to fill the cylinder — a candle 
here might have proved as destructive as any upon record; for in 
an extent of three or four acres, it exhibited from the floor up, 
an explosive medium. These mines had some years ago to re- 
cord an accident by which seventeen human beings were con- 
signed to eternity. 

There was a phaenomenon here which forcibly impressed me. 
The degrees of the fire-damp and explosive measure, as indicated 
by " the Davy," proved that they were not uniform in diifusion, 
but existing in strata or clouds throughout the atrnpsphere of 
■ the mine. 

From some recent experiments, on the subject of which I may 
again address you, I am of opinion that the principle of safety 
in this wonderful instrument is to be attributed to the depolari- 
zation of the flame by the wire-gauze. 
I am respectfully, sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 
Greenock, July 22, 1817. J. MuKRAY. 


Don Eloy Valenzuela, curate of Bucaramanga in South Ame- 
rica, has discovered that meat may be preserved fresh for many 
months by keeping it immersed in molasses. 


According to Messrs. Lean's Report for May and June, the 
following were the respective quantities of water lifted one foot 


Steam Engines in Cornwall, — Deaths. 


high with one bushel of coals, 

by the engines 

annexed, durin 

these months. 

Work performed in May. 

Load per square 

founds of water. 

inch in cylinder. 

25 common engines averaged 



Woolt 's at Wheal Vor 

not reported. 


Ditto Wh. Abraham . . 


15-1 lib. 

Ditto ditto 



Ditto Wh. Unity 



Dalcouth engine 



United mines 



Wheal Chance . . 



Work performed in June. 

23 common engines averaged 



Woolf s at Wheal Vor 



Ditto Wh. Abraham . . 



Ditto ditto 



Ditto Wh. Unity 



Dalcouth engine 



United mines . . .. 



Wlieal Chance 




It is with regret we have to announce the premature death of 
our much-valued correspondent George John Singer, esq. author 
of" Elements of Electro-Cliemistry." His death was occasioned 
by pulmonary consumption, and took place on the 2Sth of June, 
in his 3 1st year. This distinguished philosopher began to teach 
the sciences at an age when other men are commencing their 
studies. His patient and investigating spirit, combined with great 
mechanical skill and unwearied industry, enabled him to make 
some very important improvements in the instruments used in 
electricity, and that science owes to him some valual)le discoveries. 
His work, which has received the honours of a double translation 
into French, will remain a lasting monument of his talent — it 
may safely be pronounced the best manual of the subject it em- 
braces. — In private life Mr. 'Singer's virtues endeared him to 
all who had the honour of his acquaintance, among wiiom were 
some of the most able philosopliers of the age. This circle 
might have been greatly enlarged, but that lie loved retirement 
and privacy, more than tho-se who deliglited in his society 
could have wished. In him science has lost an arduous and 
highly-gifted votary, tiie community a most valuable member, 
hi? friends an inestimable treasure. 

M. Werner, the celcl)rated mineralogist, died at Dresden on the 
30th of June, at the age of 67 . He has bequeathed his excellent 


76 'Patents. — Astronomy. 

collection of minerals, coixsisting of more than 100,000 speci- 
mens, and valued at 150,000 crowns, to the Mineralogical Aca- 
demy of Frcyberg. 

Dr, Spurzheim having finished his Course of Spring Lectures 
on the Brain, set off on Monday the 2lBt of July for Paris. The 
period of his stay in France is uncertain. 


To Thomas VVedlake, of Hornchurch, Essex, for certain im- 
provements on ploughs. — Dated 5th July 1817. — To specify iii 
2 months. 

To David Brewster, LL.D., of Edinburgh, for a new optical 
instrument called The Kaleidoscope, for ex,hibitiiig and creating 
beautiful for?iis and patterns of general use in all the ornamental 
arts. — 10th July. — 2 months. 

To Captain Samuel Brown, R.N. , for his improvement in the 
construction of a bridge, by the formation and uniting of its com- 
ponent parts in a manner not hitherto practised, — 10th July. — 
6 months. 

To William Henry Simpson, of Bickington, Devon, for cer- 
tain improvements in the machinery for the spinning of wool, 
cotton, and other fibrous substances. — 10th July. — 2 months. 

To Richard Farmer Brain, of Salford, Lancaster, brewer, for 
an improvement or apparatus calculated to obtain or generate gas 
in a more oeconomical manner than heretofore, from coal or any 
other article, material, or substance, for lighting or heating 
houses, manufactories, or other places where light or heat is re- 
quired. — 10th July. — 6 months. 

To Henry Tritton, of Clapham, Surrey, for his apparatus for 
distiUing. — 15th July. — 6 months. 

To Thomas Aspinwall, esq. of Bishopsgate Church-yard, Lon- 
don, for an elliptic valve-pump box, communicated to him by a, 
certain foreigner residing abroad. — 16th July, — 6 months. 

Astronomical Phcenomenu, August 1817. 

D. H. M. 

D. H. M. 

■2. 0. 

2 215 Mayer* 12' N. 

18. 5 25 D a ii 

4. 0. 

([ apogee 

19. 3. 4 J) >c =~ 

4. 0. 

J 223 Mayer * 6 N. 

19. 7A5 J A =i 

5. 9-58 


20.19.31 D flOphiuchi 

6. 4 39 


22. 4 6 » <|) ^ 

8 0.15 

]) 125 a 

22. 8. 2 I <T f 

8. 0.16 


23. 2. 1 enters nji 


D V tTE 

25. 3.11 J eVy 


1> ym 

30.12.19 J) K 

17. 0. 

D perigee 


Mettorohgy. ' ' 77 

Meteorological Ohservatioiis kept at IVallhamsiow, Essex,from 
June 15 to Jtdy 15, 1817- 

[Usually between the Hours of Seven and Nine A.M. and the Thermometer 
(a second litne) belwecn One a«d Two P.M.j 

Pate. Therm. Baroin. Wind. 

NW. — Sun and c?/w7/^?l fine day; fine clear 
evening ; stratus NW. 

N — SE. — Very fine morning; fine, hot, sun 
and wind ; stars and cirrostratus. 

SE — E. — Clear and calm; very fine day; some 
cirrus at 6 P.M.; clear night. 

SE — E. — Clear sunshine ; cumuli NW hori- 
zon ; fine day; moon, stars; cumuli E; and 
cirrostratus NW. 

SE. — Clear and cfimuli; fine day; very hot; 
clear and cirrostratus NW. 

N — SE — E. — Clear and hot fine dav; re- 
markably strong dew till late in the, day in 
theshafle; clear, calm night, and very hot. 

N.NE— E. — Hazy and sun; fine hot dav; 
clear; shahis NW; corona round the moon. 

N.NW — NE. — Hot sun and windy; fine day; 
clear, and cirrostratus. Moon first quarter *. 

N — E — N. — Sun; wind; and cirrostratus; 
great wind, and cumuli ; fine day; clear, and 

N — NW. — Hazv; no sun visible; fine hot 
day; 8 PM. thunder and great rain; clear, 
and cirrostratus. 

NW — W. — Cloudy; hot sunny day; clear 
moon- and star-light. 

NW— SE— NW.— Very hazy; slight rain; 
fine hot day; clear and clouds. 

NE — E — W. — Hot, sun and wind; sun and 
clouds; 6 P.M. great storm, thunder and 
lightning; rain and hail, and remarkable 
sky; black nimlus which hung like a cur- 
tain NW. ; at 7 P.M. the sun shone between 
the clouds and dark nimlus all around; 
cloudy night. 
28 59 29-60 NW— W.— Fine, and clear, and windy ; fine 
70 day; showers after 3 P.M.; clear night at 

lOi P.M. Full moon. 

"• Cats retired under trees into tiie iluide to sleep (a bign of uncommon 
beat) fre<jufciill^ since the 19lli of this month. 










30- 11 


































76 MeteCrology. 


29 60 29*98 S— SE. — cumuli, and clear; fine day; eirrd- 

73 slratus and windy. 

50 63 29-76 S.^E— NW— SE.— Clondy; some showers} 

69 sun and clear ; fine day; clear and windy. 

1 60 29'75 SE. — Clear and cirrostratus ; rain after 10 
61 A.M. and windy, and very damp all day till 

about 5 P.M.; cloudy and great wind. 

2 59 29*83 N. — Clouds, and stormy wind; fine day; clear 

66 and cirrocumuii. 

3 56 29*87 W—SE—E— Cloudy and hazy; fine day; 

70 showers ; cwmdostratus, and wind. 

4 59 29*65 SE—SW—W.— Rain; clear and clouds; fine 

67 day; clear, and cumuli. 

5 55 29-65 NW— W— SW.— NW. — Rain ; fine day; 

69 showers; [a thunder storm at Clapton]; 
clear, and dark stratus high NW. 

6 55 29*66 S — SW. — Rainy morn; showery; sun and 

70 clouds; clear, and cirros.'ratus. Moon last 

7 55 29*67 W — W. — Sun and cumuli; fine day; clear, 

68 and cirrus, and stars. 

8 56 29*88 N. — Clear, clouds, and wind ; fine day; star- 

69 light. 

9 59 29*88 W — SW. — Ci?-ros/ra/z/5; clear; sun and wind; 
73 fine day; cirrostratus, and clear. 

10 59 29*88 SE-^-S. — Sun and stratus; fine day; some 
77 drops of rain after 5 P.M.; star-light. 

11 62 29*77 SE — SW, — Clear, and cumuli; fine day; 

70 star-light and windy. 

12 59 29*78 NW— N. — Slight rain early; sunshine and 
70 windy; clouds and wind. 

13 59 29-98 S—SW—W—SW.— Hazy and sun; fine day; 
67 showers between 4 and 6 P.M.; cloudy 

and windy. 
U 55 29-76 S— SW— W. — Hazy and windy; slight 

63 showers and sun ; cloudy and windy. New 

15 52 29*32 SE— NW— N.— Very great rain; Sun and 

64 showers; black nimbus and fog at 8| A.M. j 

The wind is set down by a weathercock accurately fixed to due north and 
south, and not by one fix-Kl by a compass, but by the meridian, by Mr. 
Tlionicke Forster, at the altitude of about one hundred feet. 





{The lime of observation, unless otherwise stated, is at 1 P.M.] 

18 ir. 

June 15 













Jidy 1 17 
2 )8 































































State of the Weather and Modification 
of the Clouds. 


Very fine 



Ditto — thunder storm and heavy 

rain at 3 P.M. for half an hour 

Ditto — rain at night 

Very fine — thunder storm and rain 
Cloudy [3 P.M. 

Very fine 
Rain — heavy thunder storm and 

violent shower of hail and ice 

Cloudy — blows hard from S.W. 
Ditto — rain at night 
Ditto ditto 

Ditto ditto 

Showery — ditto 
Very fine 

Cloudy — rain at night 

Cloudy — rain at night 
Showery — heavy ditto 

Tliere has been a great deal of rain fallen since the 1st July ;'and thun- 
der almost every day in the past month. It is to be observed that the 
ihennometer is hung against a wall upon which the sun never shines. The 
20th June it rose to 91* in the sun removed from any thing which could 
reflect and increase the heat of the air, 




By Mr. Gary, of the Strand, 

For July 1817. 

Theniioiueter. j 

^•:« .. 

Days of 

O = 


Hei'jhr of 
lie Barom. 


'C ^ - 



§ C 

z s 



June 27 















60 70 






64 68 





July 1 

60 60 





52 66 






58 66 


















































61 ~ 


















































































> 60 







J 60 







t 60 







3 62 ' 70 






3 61 








ter's height is taken at 

jue o'clock,. 

t 81 1 

Xl. On the Came of Ellin g and Flowing Springs. By Gavin 
Inglis, Esq. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sib, — As you have again brought into notice the ebbing 
and flowing spring of pure fresh water in BridHngton harbour in 
the 227th Number of your vakiable Magazine, I beg leave to 
send the substance of some observations intended to have been 
submitted to vou at the time Dr. Storer's communication to Sir 
J. Banks was pubhshed in your xlvth vokmie, page 432. 

Dr. S., after relating the circumstances which led to the discovery 
of the spring, says: "As soon as the surface water in the harbour 
during the flowing of the tide has arrived at a level of 49 to 50 
inches lower than the top of the bore, the water begins to flow 
from it in a stream equal to its calibre ; the impetus of which is 
increased as the tide advances, and mav be observed to be pro- 
pelled with much force after the bore is overflowed by the tide. 
The discharge continues from four to five hours, i.e. till the tide in 
returning falls to the same level at which it began to flow, — The 
rule appears to be, that the colunm of spring water in the bore 
is alwavs supported at a height of 49 to 50 inches above the level 
of the tide at any given time." — " Such is the state of facts," 
continues the Doctor ; " and it appears to open a subject of 
curious investigation to those whose habits and practical know- 
ledge qualify them for it. The appearances seem, not to ad- 
mit of any satisfactoryexplanation, without supposing some mode 
of subterranean communication, by which the water of the sea 
and that of the spring in question are brought into actual con- 
tact so as to exert a reciprocal action." 

I beg leave to differ from the Doctor in supposing the rise of 
the fresh water above the level of the tide to proceed from these 
waters coining into actual contact, upon the principle of two 
liquids of different specific gravities in an inverted svphon. 

The facts themselves are at variance with this hypothesis. 

The well-known specific gravity of tlie German Ocean does 
not so far exceed that of pure spring water as to equal a column 
of 49 to 50 inches of superior altitude. The stratum of very 
solid clav, the tapping of which |)rocured for Bridlington this 
wonderful supply of very fine water, will be foinid upon examina- 
tion to extend not oidy from Flamborough Head by the Smith- 
wick Sands to SpurnPoint, but to underlie Bridlingtt)n, the whole 
Wolds behind, and up the country till it runs out and is succeeded 
by that cretaceous gravelly soil whose dipping stratum occupies 
the intcnnediate space betwixt the clay and the rock. To this 
alone is to be attributed tlic want of water in the Woklsj the 

Vol. 50. i\o.232. ^//m,/iM817. F few 

82 On Elhhig and Flowing Springs. 

few streams or rivulets; their lowness in summer and dryness 
in autumn ; their regular supply being only what oozes or per- 
colates through the clay. The substratum of gravel will be 
found to be the common receptacle of all the waters that fall in 
the upper country, and which would otherwise flow in copious 
springs and streams over the wolds, &c. 

The Gipsies will be found mere perforations of the superstratum 
of clay; and one and all of them at some seasons, although di- 
stant from the sea, to be less or more ebbing and flowing springs. 
These begin to flow copiously, after the frost has so far pene- 
trated the upper mould or turf as to solidify the surface of the 
clay, and prevent all further oozings of the water from Iielow; 
then the accumulation of waters in the substratum must increase 
with great rapidity, become irresistible, and propel themselves 
with force from every opening; which projection will increase at 
all times with the flowing tide, and be at the highest at full sea, 
lessen in proportion as the waters of the ocean recede, leaving 
the flexible clay to give way to the hydraulic presstire from be- 
low when freed from the weight of waters above. Clay, however 
solid (in an unburnt state), when moist is an elastic substance ; 
and, in fact, that whole bed extending from Flamborough Head 
to Spurn Point will be found to rise and fall with the ebbing 
and flowing of everj/ tide. When the recess of the ocean, as I 
have said above, lessens the pressure upon the upper surface of 
this immense bed of clay, whose extent must in an eminent de- 
gree contribute to its elasticitv, the hydraulic pressure on the 
under stratum, by waters from an unknown altitude, must raise 
the whole mass in proportion as the force is superior to the re- 
sistance. The return of the tide brings with it the wei/^ht and 
altitude of its mass of waters, and unavoidably acts on the flexi- 
bility of the clay, as a pressure would on an hydraulic blowpij)e ; 
and of course " sets up the Gipsies," whose rise, in a calm, will 
be progressive and smooth. But in a storm, the clay, shaken 
by the thundering violence and beating of the waves, must occa- 
sion the consequent undulation of the water from the springs, by 
its elastic vibrations. When the collection of waters from above 
is greater than the natural discharge of these gatherings, by the 
fissures in the rock at the back of Smithwick Sands, then the 
Gipsies must get vp, and the springs will naturally flow higher 
and longer every tide, than when the collection is little more 
than the natural discharge. 

To Bridlington this discovery has been of great advantage. 
But there is a result of infinitely greater consequence to that 
town and neighbourhood than the mere production of pure fresh 
water for the ordinary purposes of life. Bv sufficient tapping, 
the Wolds might be rendered inestimably valuable and produc- 

Report of the Select Committee on Steam-Boats. 83 

tive, comparatively speaking, by giving free vent td the waters 
from below the clay, instead of leaving it to ooze through, which 
keeps the soil always weeping; — consequently damp, cold, and 
unproductive. In an age of improvement like the present, it is 
to be wondered that this has not been attended to. There is no 
mode of draining a clay soil equal to boring, particularly when 
lying on a substratum of gravel : whenever this is the case, water 
may always be procured by boring in the dipping of the gravel 
stratum; on the contrary, by boring in the cross levels, a stream 
may be turned into the bore, and disappear. Hence the Scotch 
phrase of " driving the bottom out of a well," by sinking too 

St. Winifred's or Holy Well in Flintshire is the discharge of 
waters collected under similar circumstances ; and probably at 
no great distance from its source, the waters being muddy and 
whey-coloured after heavy rains. These waters now, instead 
of working niiriicles, are turned to a more rational though per- 
haps not a more profitable account,— that of turning useful ma- 
chinery : and I have no doubt whatever, but by sinking or boring, 
and casing with cast-iron boxes, a quantity of water might be 
procured, in the neighbourhood of Bridlington, sufficient for, 
and which might be most profitably applied to, the working of 
even heavy machinery, either bv applying the water direct from 
the pit or bore, raised sufficiently to cover the wheels of ma- 
chinery, or by throwing it into reservoirs, and applying it in pro- 
portion to the weight required for the machinery to be driven. 

It is impossible to conceive to what extent this might be cai*- 
ried, and to what a pitch of commercial greatness this simple 
discovery may raise Bridlington. 

Stradieiiilry Bleachfield, Fife, July ;22, 1817. 

XII. Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider of 
iheMeans of preveTiting the Mischief of Explosion from hap- 
pening on board Steam- Boats, to (he Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty's Subjects on board such Boats. 

[Continued from p. 65.] 

The Evidence of Smn Hunt, Esq, 

XXRE you concerned with the province of Louisiana ? — I have 
been in Louisiana ; I formerly was commandant in Upper Loui- 

Can you furnish the Committee with any information in re- 
spect of tlic safety of steam -boats ? — In the United States a great 

F 2 number 

84 Report of the Select Commit le6 

number of steain-boats have been established: The first wa3 
at New-York ; there are now running between New- York and 
Albany, ten boats ; two betweer Nevv-York and the State of 
Connecticut; four or five toNew-Jcrsev; besides the ferry-boat*' 
that pass and repass across tlie river, of which there are four ; 
those boats work all bv low pressure engines ; no accident has 
ever happened to any one of them ; thev have been running since 
the year 1807; and the boats at Albany perform about forty 
trips each per amium. 

What distance is tliat? — An hundred and sixty miles. They 
go up in twenty-one hours, and come down in nineteen ; some- 
times a little longer, but never shorter than nineteen ; that is 
the quickest passage. 

At what rate per hour do thev go ? — Some of them go about 
seven miles an hour in still water ; some boats have gone nine, 
ten, or eleven knots ; but that is under particular circumstances. 
They have come from Newhaven to New-York, ninety miles, in 
six hours and a half, without any sail. 

Do they ever make use of a sail ? — They have a sail and a 
mast, which thev can lower down and raise up to take advantage 
of a favourable wind, to assist them in their passage. 

Those boats are upon rivers ? — Those which go to Albany pass 
up the North River, and the others to Connecticut pass through 
what is called Long Island Sound, which is forty miles broad in 
one part of it. On tlie river Dehuvare there are a number of 
boats also established, wliich ply between Philadelphia and 
Trenton, in New- Jersey; and Philadelphia and Eordenton, in 
New-Jersey; also others between Philadelphia and Newcastle, 
and Philadelphia and Wilmington ; beside ferry-boats which pass 
and repass the Delaware. Several of those boats have low pres- 
sure engines, others have high pressure engines, working the 
high pressure engines from 100 to 140 pounds the square inch, 
and as high as 160; but those engines are constructed upon 
Oliver Evans's plan, called the Columbian plan. 

Are they of wrought iron ? — Yes ; there are no cast-iron boilers 
in America. I presume that may arise from their not having 
foundries in which they can cast them sufficiently large; they 
are all wrought-iron boilers or copper; all which have to pass 
through salt-wafer are copper. The boat Etna, which passes 
between Philadelphia and Wilmington, is a high pressure engine, 
and outstrips all the other boats ; there is no competition at all 
between them. Tliere are boats which pass also on the Chesa- 
peak, which is there forty miles wide ; they pass from Baltimore 
to French Town and back, regular boats, two lines of boats ; 
one leaves Baltimore one day and the other the next; they pass 


on Sleam-Boats. 85 

every other day alternately. There are other boats from Balti- 
more, which go to Norfolk ; there they pass a still wider part 
of the Chesapeak, which may be sixty miles wide; they have 
been to New-London, which "is still more exposed ; and have 
been up to New- Hertford. 

Are those with high pressure engines? — No; low pressure. 
On the Potowmac there are also steam-boats, and on the James 
River, which pass between Richmond and Norfolk. 

Have any accidents been known to arise on account of the 
heavy seas?— No ; no accident whatever. I have not mentioned 

the most important circumstance connected with this: the 

Powhattan steam-boat was built at New- York, went into the 
open ocean, encountered for three days a very severe gale of 
wind, arrived safe at Norfolk and up to Richmond. The gen- 
tleman is now in England who navigated her; and I have heartl 
him say, that he felt himself as sa'fe as he shouKl in a frigate; 
and he said there was this advantage, that the steam power en- 
abled him when they could not have borne sails, to put the head 
of the vessel to the sea, instead of l\ing in the trough of the sea, 
Ijeing exjjosed to be over-run by the waves. 

What was her tonnage ?— Tvvo hundred and fifty tons. 
What is the largest steam-boat in America ?— The largest I 
have seen are those on the Mississipi, the Etna and the Vesuvius, 
which ply between New-Orleans and the Naches ; they are 450 
tons, and they carry 280 tons merchandize and 100 passengers ; 
700 bales of cotton besides the passengers are transported to 

Have you aiiv regular allowance of power according to a ton? 
— I believe that after they have proved their boilers, which I pre- 
sume should be done in all cases, if they wish to ascertain the 
pressure, they work with safety at half that which it has been 
proved at. 

Is there any rule according to totmage established as an usage? 
-—I am not an engineer, and am not conversant with that sub- 
ject; I have passed through the country, and have been on 
board most ot those boats, but I am not acciuainted with that 

Have any acciflcnts happened ? — \Vit!iin my recollection onlv 
three accidents have happened to steam-boats in America: the 
first happened on the Ohio, and was occasioned, as stated by 
the puIdK- papers, by tlie negligence and inattention of the en- 
gineer, who loaded the safety-valve, and neglected to attend the 
hre; all hands were engaged in hoisting the anchor, the fire 
was in a very high state, and of course pmduccd a vast deal of 
■'teain that did m.t escape by the ordinary operation of the en- 
gine, which would discharge it and carry it off. 

!• y What 

86 Report of the Select Committee 

What is culled the safety-valve had been improperly loaded 
and neglected? — Yes, but that never need happen; the principle 
of steel -yards is to put a weight at the end, and if you put no more 
than that, it will answer its purpose ; — so with a steam-engine; 
it may be overloaded, and its effect destroved. The next acci- 
dent happened, not from a faidt of any bodv, but from an act of 
God ; it was lightning, as was satisfactorily explained to the 
public, both by the passengers and those interested in the boat ; 
that was at Charleston in South Carohna; the pipe which carries 
the smoke up to the top attracted the lightning, and it went down 
and split the boiler. 

It was not considered as at all connected with the operation 
of the engine? — No, not at all through negligence. A third ac- 
cident happened lately to the Powhattan ; she was not in opera- 
tion when it happened ; they were out of fuel, they stopped their 
boat and ky still upon the water while they went after wood ; 
still however they kept up their fire, and the steam was high, and 
it exploded in that situation, there being no consumption of the 
steam as it accumulated. Those are the only accidents that 
ever happened, except such as have happened from vessels taking 

Were those vessels high or low pressure enaines ? — All low 
pressure engines. No accident has ever happened in America to 
a high pressure engine, either in a manufactory or out of it; and 
there are many engines used in the manufactories, ai\d in flour- 
mills and saw-mills, constructed upon the plan of Oliver Evans, 
which act on the high pressure principle to 150 pounds an inch; 
he has worked 160, but 120 is his constant average. There is not 
an old woman in America that is ever frightened at all at a high 
pressure engine, any more than they now are at a cannon. There 
is a very large engine, about a forty-five horse power, at St. Sen- 
iiati, on the Ohio River, which moves seven pair of stones in a 
flour-mill, a woollen manufactory, and a cotton manufactorv 
seven stories high ; it works upon the high pressure, and there 
are saw-mills and grist-mills at various places. 

What is the fuel ? — Wood in most places. At Pittsburgh and 
on the Ohio River it is coal and wood ; at Pittsliurgh and at 
Weeling, and a hundred other places, there is fifty miles square 
a solid mass of coal ; thev drive the shaft horizontally into the 
hill, and the coal is abundant above their head in the mountains, 
as fine coal as any in the world ; it is delivered at the houses of 
the inhabitants at sixteen bushels for a dollar. 

Is the number of steam-boats now increasing in America? — 
Very rapidly. 

Are those that are now constructing upon the high or the low 
pressure system ? — Upon both, because there are different in- 

on Steam-Boats. 87 

terests and diflferent companies. Mr. Evans being a patentee, 
they have to give sometliing for the use of his patent ; — if they 
cannot make their bargain with him they use the low pressure 
engine; but there is a new engine invented in America, a per- 
fectly rotatory engine, built for one-third of the money, which is 
now coming into use in several of the steam-boats ; and it was 
supposed when I came away it would supersede all other en- 

Do you know of any particular guard in the construction of 
steam-engines used in America to prevent accidents? — I know of 
no other than that of properly constructing the safety-valve, and 
the manner of loading it, so that they cannot get on more than 
a certain weight ; they must of course construct them strong 
enough and prove them. 

They are under no Government regidation ? — They are not. 

Does that with a rotatory motion consume more coals ? — It 
is supposed to consume less ; twelve bushels of coals with the 
rotatory motion will perform the same work as the other engine 
with twenty. 

Mr. Timothy Bramah's Evidence. 

You are an engineer, at Pimlico ? — 1 am. 

You were one of the gentlemen that went to Norwich to in- 
quire into the explosion of the steam-boat ? — I was. 

Did you go at the request of any party, or of your own volun- 
tary suggestion ? — I went in consequence of my friends, Mr. Col- 
linge and Mr. Donkin, calling upon me to ask my opinion, 
whether it would be right for us to interfere upon such an oc- 
casion ; I concurred with them that it would, and volunteered 
to go. 

Your design was to inquire into the causes of the explosion? 
— Yes, and to examine as much of the wreck as we could find. 

State to the Committee to what you attribute the accident? 
— The observations I made led me to determine it was owing to 
the expansive force of the steam, and the inadequacy of the boiler 
to sustain that force. 

Was it a high pressure or a low pressure engine? — A high 
pressure engine; the boiler was badly constructed and shaped. 

Of what materials was the boiler composed ? — Of wrought 
and cast iron, and it was the cast-iron part that gave way. 

Those two materials expand in a different proportion with the 
same degree of heat? — Yes, they do. 

Is it usual to have the boiler of wrought and cast iron ? — I 
should think it would be avoided on all occasions by experienced 
engineers ; but I have often seen it. 

F 4 This 

SS Report of the Select Cummiilee 

This engine was not made so at first, but altered afterwards ; 
was it not ? — Yes, in consequence of the other giving way. 

Have yon anv reason to suppose that the accident might be 
attributed to negHgence or mismanagement in the director of 
it? — We had verbal testimony, from which I had no doubt the 
steam was at a considerable degree of pressure ; but the end was 
verv improperly made. 

Did you ever learn at what rate the man was working?- — No, 
I understood he was working at sixty ])ounds an inch generally, 
probably it might be 120 at that moment ; but I should think it 
not equal to tiie working of sixty, for it was only three-fourths 
of an inch, and a sixteenth in some places in thickness, and it 
was four feet in diameter at the end ; it was a flat end to the 
cylinder like a dium. 

Is it possible to construct the engines in steam-boats in such 
a manner that there is great improbability of any accident hap- 
pening? — I do not know how to answer as to their being per- 
fectly safe ; I do not feel that materials, when they are sub- 
mitted to so great a pressme, are safe, for we find that very few 
materials will stand a great degree of pressure for any length of 
time ; we often find that a water-press, which has been efficient 
six or seven years together, at length gives way, when the me- 
tals are sul)jected to a very great pressure; it is like a blow with 
a heavy machine for breaking metals, which does not break the 
first time, but is constantly tending to loosen the particles. 

Do vou think that a high pressure engine, under any guard 
that can be applied to it, is a safe engine to use in a steam- 
boat ? — I do not conceive it is a proper engine, or a safe one. 

Did you ever hear of their having been used with wrought-iron 
boilers with perfect safety? — No, I have not heard of any com- 
parative statement of either the wrought or cast ; I know they 
are usually made with cast. 

Do vou consider yourself sufficiently an engineer, with respect 
to the construction of steam-engines, to be able to give of your 
own knowledge, a decided answer to sucii questions ? — Yes, I 
do conceive so; 1 have paid a great deal of attention to the sub- 
ject of steam-engines, and I believe I know the principle of 
every one in existence. 

If on a certain pressure in a high pressure engine, a safety- 
valve or safetv-valves were so constructed, as that they would 
open and discharge the steam witii a pressure nuich less than 
the boiler was calculated for, would not sucii a boiler be per- 
fectly safe, admitting it to be made of proper materials and pro- 
perly constructed ? — Yes, if it could be proved that the boiler 
was calculated to resist a pressure much greater than that to 



on Sleam-Boats. 89 

which it was to be subjected in the ordinary way of business, 
and that proper safety-valves were apphed, it would be safe as 
long as the action of those safety-valves were insured, and so 
long as the perfection of the metal could be upheld. 

If a boiler was found to sustain the pressure of 100 pounds to 
a square inch, and such boiler had been tried, and it was found, 
before used, tiiat it would bear a pressure of 200 pounds upon 
the inch, would not such a boiler be perf^^ctly safe to be used, if 
the safetv-valve was so constructed as to open itself at the pres- 
snre of sixty? — I cannot pronounce it perfectly safe, and I must 
give this reason ; — I think if a boiler was jjrepared to sustain 
100 pounds, and strained to 200, it might afterwards perhaps 
burst at forty, the straining having injured it. 

In the situation of steam-boats, might not the unskilfulness 
of the sort of persons who manage them render any steam-boat 
unsafe ? — :I do not know how that could be the case ; they might 
by wilful perversion of the proper principle of management ren- 
der them unsafe to a comparative extent; for instance, if there 
was half the pressure there would be but half the danger under 
like circumstances 

Do you or not apprehend, that a boiler upon a proper con- 
struction, of wrought metal, may be tried with a certain force, 
so small in comparison with that pressure which it is intended to 
bear, as not to incur any risk of being injured in the proof, and 
have a complete surplus of strength, so as to enable it to be af- 
terwards used without any danger in the use ? — I should pro- 
nounce such a boiler to be perfectly safe, and so long as it main- 
tained those properties it uould continue so. 

Have you considered how safety valves may be constructed as 
adapted to boilers, so as to put it out of the power of the person 
having the management of them improperly to load them, or to 
alter their nature ? — The most simple mode which has suggested 
itself to me is, to have a double saiety-valve, and to lock one up 
and to have it examined once a week, or as often as may be ne- 
cessary, to see that its action is perfect. 

If there were those two safety-valves, one under the manage- 
ment of the person v>ho had the direction of the boat, and the 
other safety-valve under suc'n guard that he could not prevent 
its action ; sucii a l)oiler would, in your opinion, be safe? — That 
would be more safe than any I have ever seen. 

Have you ever witnessed the different effects of the explosion 
in cast and wrought iron boilers? — No; I have seen wrought 
iron vessels that have beeii burst — torn out, as it were. 

Did you never see a cast-iron vessel burst? — Yes, many; the 
wrought iron generally tears and opens out, to admit of the fluid 
escaping ; it is generally the fluid which does the mischief when 


90 Report of the Select Committee 

thfe wrought iron is used, and it is both the fluid and the material 
which does the mischief when the cast iron bursts ; the effect in 
cast metal is, to carry the pieces of the metal to a considerable 
distance, which is seldom the case in the wrought, unless where 
there is any cold shut in the metal; the cast bursts like a shell, 
projecting the particles of the metal to a considerable distance. 

If an accident of that nature happens to a wiought-iron boiler, 
the mischief would probably be confined to the room in which 
the boiler was placed ? — No, I do not conceive that to be the 
case ; I have no doubt, if it had been a wrought-iron boiler in 
this case, the deck of the vessel would have been blown off; the 
pressure would have been in all places alike; but here it was only 
in a lateral direction, and the end of the boiler was blown into 
the river, and by its re-action the boiler itself was thrown into 
the river on the other side. 

You have said, that you have frequently seen wrought-iron 
vessels burst ? — Not frequently in our owu experience ; I have 
seen copper frequently that has burst. 

Have any fatal or serious accidents happened on those occa- 
sions? — I have heard of some, but have not witnessed one; the 
accidents I have observed have chiefly arisen where cast-iron 
boilers have been used. 

In the first instance, when wrought-iron boilers are used, the 
injury is sustained bv individuals by the fluid escaping ? — Yes. 

Where cast-iron boilers have been used, it has been by the ex- 
plosion of metal ? — Yes ; I do not mean to say it may not be by 
the explosion of wrought-iron boilers ; it is very difficult to ob- 
tain a boiler of perfect metal ; and if there are any cold shuts, 
or other defects in it, it may explode in the same way. 

Is copper subject to the same evils ? — No ; I think it is gene- 
rally in a purer state ; iron is very impure at the best. 

Mr. John Taylor's Bvidence. 

What is your profession? — My principal pursuit is that of a 
manufacturing chemist, at Stratford in Essex ; but I have the 
control of a district of copper mines near Tavistock. ^ 

Have those engagements made you perfectly conversant with 
the nature and application of steam-engines? — I have attended 
to that subject to a certain extent ; of late my attention has been 
called to high pressure steam particularly, being concerned with 
my brother in a patent for applying high pressure steam to the 
boiling of liquids, and using it extensively in our own manufac- 
tory, both in steam-engines and for the purpose of boiling. 

Are you acquainted with the accident which lately happened 
to the steam-boat at Norwich ? — By report only. 

What do you know of that transaction? — I have heard that 


on Steam- Boats. 91 

the plate of cast iron was of inadecjuate thickness for the strai^n 
to be put upon it. With respect to the impropriety of cast iron 
compared with wrouglit, vye ourselves constructed one of the first 
high pressure boilers we used, precisely in the same mani>er with 
that on board the Norwich boat; the boiler was proved to 100 
pounds a square inch, by the water proof, commonly used with 
about forty pounds pressure, but the cast-iron end broke one day 
with less than t'ventv pounds pressure of steam ; the fracture 
being caused evidently by the heat expanding the cast-iron end 
unequally, and being kept from going to the form it would 
otherwise assume. 

Then you are of opinion it would be improper to make one of 
such a construction ? — As far as I at present know, I should say 
it was. Upon that we altered our boilers, all having been since 
made of wrouglit iron only. I have seen most of the high pres- 
sure boilers which have been made, except Woolf's. I have seen 
Trevethick's old construction, which were cast iron ; his new 
construction with his vvrought-iron tubes. The Wells-street 
boiler, which blew up, I saw immediately after its destruction ; 
I was surprised to see that it had been made of cast iron, a pan 
of eight feet diameter therefore extending the bursting surface 
in the proportion of four to sixteen ; it was of unequal thickness, 
badly cast, cast from small furnaces, and the contact of the iron 
not complete ; it did not meet in fusion. 

Was that a high pressure boiler ? — Yes, intended to boil su- 
gar ; the thickness was intended to be, doubtless, about two 
inches or two inches and a quarter, but by inserting the core 
unequally, the thickness on one side was three quarters of an inch, 
on the other side the thickness of the metal was two inches and 
a quarter, or thereabouts ; therefore to the general objections to 
cast iron was added a most improper construction. I under- 
stand from the men who were working there (the Frenchmen) 
that there had been something like a mercmial gauge attached 
to it, but that the mercury never fluctuated; it indicated no- 
thing that the safetv-valve 'vas loaded down with weights, wliich 
we could not collect, and therefore did not ascertain the pres- 
sure ; but that it was piol)able there was a pressure of more 
than 100 pounds per inch. 

Had you ever seen it worked before ? — No, nobody was ad- 
mitted to see it worked. 

How many accidents have occurred in the high pressure boiler 
to your knowledge ? — The lirst I ever heard of was one of Treve- 
thick's at Woolwich. 

Was that a cast-iron boiler? — It was. In that case the safety- 
valve was a very awkward thing, hardly to be called a safety- 
valve J he himself was not awakened to the danger till that ac- 

92 Report of the Select Committee 

cident happened. The second case that I heard of was in the 
North, a propelling en£>;ine (it was mentioned in all the papers); 
it was near Sunderland, of p. boiler driving waggons ; the facts 
of the case I know to be these, from the engineer who made the 
boiler. — In the first place, they had a smaller boiler to the same 
engine; that boiler did not generate steam so fiist as the engine 
could expand it, consequently there was never an excess of steam 
came out of the safety-valve, the engine-man therefore with im- 
punity screwed down his safetv-valve ; it was never used. The 
proprietor of the engine wishing to have more power, ordered a 
larger boiler, which had the power of generating nearly double 
the quantity of steam ; this was sent, and a caution given by the 
gentleman not to attach it to the engine till he arrived ; but 
that was not attended to ; the boiler was attached to the engine; 
the man went to work as before, and he screwed down his safety- 
valve, not knowing, that though before he had a deficiency, he 
had now an overplus ; he said he would make a good start of it; 
the boiler exploded, killed several people, and him among the 
rest ; and tlie force was remarkable, as shown by the fragments 
of coal that were driven through the men's clothes or into their 
bodies from the tram. The Wells-street was the third case; the 
safety-valve was loaded in this case. At Norwich I apprehend 
the safety-valve was loaded. The only other case was in Treve- 
thick's new high pressure boiler, the wrought-iron boiler ; that, 
I should say, was sometliing like a boiler formed of two arcs of 
circles ; it burst witliout doing any hurt, and peiha])s the cir- 
cumstance is not known to ten jjcople besides myself. The 
people were near it, and it did them no hurt. The reason ic 
burst was, that a man very ignorantly took out bars which he 
should not and altered its construction. These are the only in- 
stances I know of the higli pressure boilers. 

Do you consider low pressure boilers as safe from explosion 
under all circumstances? — Only owing to the column of water 
that fills them ; that is the only reason I consider them as safe. 

If they are supplied by a column of water, then do jou con- 
sider them as safe from explosion ? — I do not consider them as 
absolutely safe, because I know facts of tiieir bursting; in case 
of their not being fed v.itli a cohnnn of water they are very un- 
safe; for the construction of the boiler is weak in itself, and you 
have no dependence but upon a safety-valve, which may be loaded 

Do you conceive that a wrought-iron boiler may be rendered 
safe under all circumstances? — I do consider that it may. 

State how ? — Principally by the use of a column of mercury in 
a syphon or tube, of sufficient size ; when that mercury is dis- 
placed by the expansive force of the steam, which would be re- 

072 Sleum-Boat<!. i)3 

gulated 1)\ the height of that tube to admit of the efflux of the 
steam from the boiler as fast as it was generated by the fire, in 
that case the expansive force could not increase in the lioiler, but 
the mercury would be blown out and the steam would escape: 
that I consider one of the best securities to the boiler. Besides 
the common safetv-valve, which may be at the discretion of the 
workman, I conceive it essential to have another safety-valve, 
which is under the control of the master or proprietor of the 
works. There is another small contrivance, which I consider 
very important to the safety of the boiler. Boilers have been 
weakened verv much by the water having been evaporated too 
low, so that the bottom begins to be acted upon by the fire and 
weakened. A hole having been previously bored in the bottom 
where the fire acts, may he riveted by a piece of lead, so that 
that lead remains perfectly secure as long as it is covered with 
water, but the moment the water leaves it the lead melts ; the 
steam is blown out through the hole and puts out the fire; be- 
sides giving the signal of wiiat is wanted, it at once puts an end 
to the cause of danger. 

Do you consider that the mercurial gauge acts in any other 
manner than as a safety-valve, which cannot be stopped or put 
out of order ? — -It does not act only in that manner, but it has 
the advantage of exhibiting during all times of the boiler's work- 
ing, the state of the steam within the boiler, by the fluctuation 
that takes place in that cohmui, as indicated by the index upon 
the surface of the mercury, and the state of that mercurial gauge 
is observable every moment. If the mercury becomes stationary, 
one would strongly suspect that that tube was st0j>ped, therefore 
it would point out itself instantly that it had become not what it 
ought to be ; the safety-valve has not that advantage, as it does 
not indicate any thing till the steam is blown out by raising the 

An observation of the mercurial gauge by an intelligent per- 
son, would tend to guard against mischief r^.-Yes, by aiiy per- 

What are the different effects produced by the explosion of 
cast and wrought iron ? — As far as 1 have stated the fact with 
respect to Trevethick's boiler, which was of wrought iron, a rent 
or fissure was produced, and the form of the boiler was disfigured, 
but no fragments were thrown about so as to produce any serious 

Do you conceive that to be the usual effect ? — I conceive it 
would be the effect ; and 1 conceive further, that one might pre- 
dict with some degree of certamty where that fi^Hure would take 
place; it would take placj in that part of the boiler that is most 
exposed to the action of the fire, that growing tirnuK'st. 


94 Ueporl of the Select Commitlee 

Have jou ever seen an explosion of a cast-iron boiler ?-« 
No, I have not ; I have seen the etfects at Wells-street, I was 
Upon the ruins immediately after ; the effect seemed to be tre- 
mendous ; there it knocked down the whole building, which was 
a sugar-house of five or six stories high, and fragments appeared 
to be thrown in every direction ; the boiler itself was shattered 
hito a great number of pieces. 

If that had been a wrought-iron boiler and had burst, it would 
not have produced the same effect ? — I think not. 

Are vou at all aware whether there is any jireference of copper 
above iron, in the construction of boilers for high pressure steam- 
engines ? — I should think tiiat copper is the best metal of all ; 
the most ductile. — But I think at the same time, that with good 
wrought iron, boilers may be made perfectly safe up to the esti- 
mated strength of from four to five hundred pounds pressure per 

Have you formed any opinion respecting the pressure per inch, 
necessary to drive a steam-boat through the water at the highest 
rate at which vou have heard of any hitherto h.iviiig gone ? — I 
have not turned mv attention particularly to the use of high pres- 
sure steam, as applicable to steam-boats. But being the owner 
of a high pressure engine, I see no advantage at present in go- 
ing above forty or fifty pounds an inch in steam-engines. 

Supposing then that a boiler were constructed, with the in- 
tention of its resisting a pressure of steam ecjual to 300 pounds 
per inch, that it should be afterwards proved with a force equal 
to two hundred, and that it should be after that worked with a 
pressure under a hundred, do you conceive that any supposable 
danger could exist under such circumstances ? — None at all ; 
provided the steam was limited to a hundred. 

It is understood of course, that the common precautions of 
safetv-valves, the operation of which could not be impeded, 
should be applied to such boilers? — Yes; with respect to the 
valve of high pressure steam for working engines, I beg leave to say 
generallv, that in Cornwall of late a most valuable improvement 
has taken place ; and that if it is an object to save coal to steam- 
vessels upon a large scale, I do conceive tliat high pressure steam 
becomes an object of great importance to them. I mean if ap- 
plied upon the principle that Mr. Woolf has in the first place 
introduced, but which has been applied by Mr. Sims, and I be- 
lieve by some others. 

You are of opinion these high pressure boilers might be made 
with equal safety as low pressure boilers ? — Quite so. 

Do yon know any thing of the saving of coal produced by high 
pressure engines ? — I have in my hand a statement of the work 
done by the engines on the principal mines in the county of Corn- 


on Sleam-Boats. 95 

A^fall. It states the consumption of coal, and the work done by 
every enghie therein named, from which it appears that the 
average work of engines now in the county of Cornwall, is to 
raise about twenty million pounds of water one foot high, by the 
consumption of one buslicl of coals; that by the introduction 
of high pressure steam under the best mode of management, an 
effect equal to from forty-three to forty-five million pounds of 
water is raised the same height by the same quantity of coal, 
thereby producing above double the effect. 

Do you apprehend that condensing or low pressure engines 
are lial)le to be blown up by the carelessness and inattention of 
the engineer conducting them ? — I apprehend equally so with 
high pressure engines; and I am of that opinion from facts which 
have reached me. In France, at Crusoe, son\e very good engines 
were erected by Mr. Wilkinson, at a very large work. They 
were on Bolton and Watt's principle; one of them blew up and 
killed several people. I have heard of other instances, but they 
are not within my own knowledge. 

Do you conceive that the mercurial gauge may be applied with 
ease to the high pressure boilers, so as to produce safety, as cer- 
tainly as the column of water, which is in fact a water-gauge, 
whicli is usually applied to the low pressure? — I do most un- 
doubtedly think that, provided the mercurial gauge be of a 
sufficient bore ; and I think, in some respects, it would have the 
advantage of the water-gauge, as being less liable to accidental 

Do you conceive that there is any difficulty whatever in con- 
structing a sufetv-valve, so as to operate with certainty, and to 
be safe from any impediment which the engineer might inten- 
tionally place in the way of its operation ? — I do think such a 
safetv-valve can be constructed. 

Do you apprehend any additional considerable expense vvoidd 
be thereby incurred? — Not any considerable expense; we have 
done it to all the boilers we have lately suj)erintended the erec- 
tion of, putting them under lock. 

Mr. John Coli.inge's Evidence. 

What profession are you of? — An engineer and iron-founder. 

In the course of vour profession, are you conversant with the 
nature of stcam-erigines ? — 1 have made several. 

Where do you live ? — In Bridge Road, Lambeth. 

I believe you are the patentee of the patent axle-tree ? — I am. 

Did you go to Norwich in consc(|uencc of the accident that 
liappened to the steam-boat there ? — I did, in company with 
Mr. Donkin and Mr. Brown. 

Did you go at the recjucst of any person? — No, it was volini- 


96 Report of the Select Committee 

iHiy, from an impression the public mind would be alarmed, and 
wish to know the cause of the accident. 

Did vou see tlie boiler, or any of the remaining part of that 
engine ? — I did. 

Do you attlibute the cause of that explosion to the construc- 
tion of the boiler ? — I do. 

Be so got)d as to state what it was? — The boiler was com-^ 
posed entirely of wrought iron, except one end, and that was 
capped with cast-iron. 

The cylindrical part was made of wrought iron ? — Yes. 

It was a high pressure boiler ? — It was. 

Originailv it had all been wrought iron ? — It had, I believe. 

Rut upon an alteration they put one end of cast iron? — Ye^. 

Was not such a conjunction of metals in such a place very 
dangerous ? — 'Certainly. 

Principally because the expansion of the metal is totally dif-^ 
ferent in one and the other ? — Yes. 

What is your opinion, as an engineer, in respect to the ma- 
terial of which boilers in general should be made ? — Any material 
under very severe pressure is liable to fail, and cast iron for this 
reason, because in all large bodies we find that the air cannot 
wholly escape in the act of fusion. I have occasionally had 
large masses of c\linders and pans to break up, and we find fre-- 
quently cells where the air could not escape, so that we are never 
certain as to the solidity of cast iron ; there is certainly a much 
greater dependence upon wrought iron or upon wrought metal ; 
perhaps it would be better to include co]ii)er. 

In wrought iron th.ere is danger from cold slsut? — Yes. 

Supposing an accident should happen to any l)oiier, which 
would be most likely to be attended with the greatest mischief, 
,1 cast-iron or a wrought-iron boiler ? — Cast iron, because cast 
iron flies oif in fragments, and wrought, from tenacity, only 

Did you ever hear of an accident in a wrought-iron boiler 
when it has exploded, that has done any considerable mischief? 
— I was almost upon the point of believing, that wrought-iron 
boilers would have resisted a degree of pressure, if properly made, 
beyond what I find they will do; because an accident has oc- 
curred at Maiden, where a boiler, nineteen feet long, was blown 
off from the seat of its connexion with the base. I have found, 
in making wrought-iron boilers myself, that if I make them of 
metal of a consideraldc substance, that they cannot be so well 
united to make them steam tight ; it is a very difficult thing to, 
do ; how far that is the case with copper, I have no acquaintance, 
but perhaps it would not be precisely the case with copper; the 
rivets that are applied to wrought-iron boilers are put in hot, 



tary, I 

wish t 


tion o 
It w 
terial < 
large r 
In V 
a cast- 
iron fl' 
when i 

1 WB 

off froi 
in mak 
metal < 
do ; ho 
but pel 
rivets t 

on Slsam-Boals. 97 

and when they are hammered to spcure the jolntj they get cold, 
of course they shrink, and do not fill the hole through which they 
have passed. 

The wrou^lu-iron boiler which you stated burst was not ap- 
plied to a boat ? — No, for a salt-work. 

Is it your opinion, as an engir-^er, that any boiler, whether of 
wrought or of cast iron, but particularly of wrought iron, could 
be made, bv the construction of safety-halves, so secure that all 
danger from it would be almost impossible r — At present I have 
no conception that any safety-valves could be applied to render 
them perfectly secure under heavf pressure. 

Is it your opinion, that if a boiler was originally constructed 
of wrought iron, to bear a pressure of 100 pounds to the square 
inch, and that such boiler had been tried by experiments, say at 
sixty, and that a safety-valve was applied to it which should open 
at a pressure of thirty, such a boiler would be liable to be ex- 
ploded? — Not unless it had been previously strained by the ex- 
periment to render it too weak. 

Cannot a safety-valve be so made that it shall open, and be 
certain to open, at a particular pressure? — The safety-valves 
ought alwavs to open at that pressure ; but from causes that we 
cannot ascertain, that does not happen in cases where accidents 
occur; it is to be hoped that safety-valves will be contrived to 
answer for high pressure engines. 

Would it not be possible to apply to such an engine as that a 
tube with a column of mercury? — Yes, and it would be a judi- 
cioiLS application ; but it requires such an altitude, I apprehend 
it is not very easily applicable to boats from the agitation of the 
vessel ; but if it could be applied, it is the best application thaft 
can be made. 

In the low pressure engines the general safety is by a column 
of water ? — Yes. 

That could not be used on board a boat ? — No. 

Then you think the mercurial gauge would be the greatest 
safety for a boat, if it could be applied? — Certainly; if it could 
be judiciously applied, it possesses greater safety than any other. 

Have you seen steam-boats on the Clyde or Humber ? — No. 

^'ou know those on the Thames? — Yes. 

^^'hat is the greatest power that would be required ? — The 
condcusing-engincs should not be more than four pounds to an 
inch ; and if the caj)acity of the vessel allows of it, the condens- 
ing-engincs answer every purpose, because you can have one on 
board more than sufficient for the tonnage ; because the making 
a wrougtit-iron boiler would be on such a scale of thickness, 
that if more than the usual pressure was applied, the rivets would 
fail, and constitute a security against any fatal occurrence. 

\ol bO.No.232, August mj. G Could 

98 Report of the Select Comrnittee 

Could not a boiler then be made for what they call a high 
pressure engine, equally safe? — I should apprehend not, for the 
reasons I have stated : I have made several boilers, and I find if 
the plates are thick beyond the dimension usually employed for 
condensing-engines, that they do not prove equally steam-tight. 

Explain whether you mean the plates or the seams ? — I mean 
that the seams are not equally steam-tight. 

Did you from any report you heard, besides the bad construc- 
tion of tlie boiler at Norwich, discover that any negligence was 
imputable to the direction of that engine ? — It was presumed by 
report that he was imprudent frequently; for the purpose of im- 
pelling his vessel with greater force, that he did load his engine 
too much. 

Did you see any body who had escaped from that accident 
who was on board the boat ? — I did not. 

If there was too much weight added to the valve, would not 
that occasion the explosion ? — There is no doubt that was the 
case ; but a much smaller degree of pressure would have burst 
•a boiler so constructed. 

Then if a boiler had been made properly, and a man had been 
so imprudent as to have loaded the safety-valve, the same acci- 
dent might have occurred ? — Certaiidv. 

You have said, from the power that was wanted with regard 
to steam-boats, you thought condensing-engines were the best 
engines applicable for that purpose ? — I think so, no doubt. 

Do you mean the best as applied only to safety, or for use ?— r 
For safety only. 

But if a high pressure engine could be made with equal se- 
curity, would not that be more convenient to be used on board a 
boat than a condensing-engine ? — It would take less room. 

Would not it in many cases, as thev are now constructed, con- 
sume less fuel in proportion to the power ? — I am not acquainted 
Avith that fact; but I have frequently asked, and I find in the 
common high pressure engine there is no saving in the fuel, but 
they are cheaper and more simple in their construction. 

Do you apply that to the high pressure engine which they call 
the Trevethick engine? — Yes. 

Not to any other ? — Not to Woolf 's. 

Nor to Simms's ? — I have never seen eitlier one or the other. 

Suppose that a high pressure engine was to be used in a boat, 
what construction of boiler or safety-valve applied to that boiler 
should you advise, in order to give it the greatest possible ser 
curity ? — I really am unable to answer that question satisfactorily; 
of'course the more safety-valves there are employed, the greater 
security there will be against the chance of explosion; I believe 
that the principal source of the explosion of high pressure en- 


on Steam-Boats. 39 

gine boilers of cast iron, arises from allowing them to get cool 
too suddenly, and raising the steam too suddenly, the metal con- 
tracts and expands at a period when we cannot investigate its 

Wrought iron would not be attended with that danger ? — Not 
to the same extent; the rivets would go. 

But not with the same degree of explosion? — No. 

Would it not be a great safeguard in the construction of a boiler, 
if a safetv- valve was so made as to be put out of the power of the 
engineer to get at it? — No doubt, it ought in all cases to be so. 

It could be so constructed ? — No doubt ; if the pressure, how- 
ever, is greater than what the safety-valve is intended to relieve, 
there might be an accident from the causes which I previously 
stated; that is, that a boiler might be defective without its being 
known . 

You apply that to cast-iron boilers? — Yes, and in a small de- 
gree to WTought-iron boilers. 

Do you conceive it impossible, or even difficult, to construct 
a wrought-metal boiler, with safety-valves properly adjusted to 
its capacity, and a mercurial gauge, supposing that to be capa- 
ble of being applied, which should render a high pressure en- 
gine on board a steam-boat what might be called perfectly 
safe ? — No, I do not think it impossible; and 1 hope some time 
or other it will be accomplished. 

Wherein do you apprehend that the difficulty of so construct- 
ing a boiler would consist ? — Because I have found that difficulty 
in making boilers myself steam-tight, even for condensing-en- 
gines, where the plates were of a thickness fit to undergo high 

Do you apprehend that any danger of a fatal accident could 
arise from that mere want of tightness in the riveting, which 
would permit some steam to escape? — That danger would de- 
pend upon the degree of the pressure, and the extent of the 
aperture through which the steam escaped. 

What is the species of danger which you would expect to oc- 
cur in such a case ? — I am not able to answer the extent of it.' 
If the safety-valves acted, of course the danger would be re- 
moved ; supposing that the safety-valves are projierly constructed, 
and their operation is secured, the danger would not be extremely 
great ; it is only from their defect of action that the danger is to 
be apprehended. 

Tiien do you mean to say, that if the valves were really in 
point of fact performing their functions properly, in that event 
you would not consider there was any danger ? — Certainly not, 
if the boilf-r was ade(iuate to the pressure. 

What is the pressure i)er incii which you conceive to be ge- 
G 2 nerally 

100 Report of {he Select Committee on Steam~Boais. 

nerally used in the condensing-engine? — From two and a half to 
four pounds. 

Do you not apprehend that the strength of the boiler is cal- 
culated upon what may be required to resist that low pressure? — 

Is it not extremely possible, in the common use of a condensing- 
engine, that by accident, or the inattention of the engineer, the 
pressure may be increased very much beyond that which you 
have just mentioned ? — No inattention would produce it while 
these securities exist ; because the water would be discharged 
through the feed-pipe, and the mischief prevented. 

Did you ever know the steam-pipe used in any condensing- 
engine on board a steam-boat ? — I fancy they never are. 

Did you not hear that the Norwich boiler was blown up by 
the very fact of the inattention or temerity of the engineer ? — I 
did hear that. 

Is not that inattention or temerity equally to be applied to a 
condensing as to a high pressure engine ? — The engineer may tie 
down the valve occasionally; it is very natural to expect it in 
steam-boats. I fancy it is too frequently done ; there are in- 
stances where something of that sort was said in conversation at 
Norwich, that where a man waited for passengers, and wanted 
to get up with the other boats, he did it. 

Could a mercurial syphon be applied to a boiler, so that it 
would meet the observation of all the passengers on board the 
boat ? — I should think it could ; but the discharge of mercury, 
in case of explosion, might produce very serious effects. 

If the syphon was of a sufficient bore, it would be the means 
of preventing the effects you have spoken of? — No doubt. 

In order to give security to the public in travelling by steam- 
boats, do not you think that it might be necessary to have an 
examination of each engine two or three times in a year? — Cer- 
tainly; once every six months. I think it would create confi- 
dence, and that is a great object. 

And that is your opinion, whether the boiler is constructed of 
cast iron or wrought metal ? — Yes. 

You think that without this examination a condensing-engine 
would be unsafe ? — I think it would be advantageous to have an 

In your judgement, would an inspection of the boilers of a 
steam-engine, of a condensing-engine, and a high pressure en- 
gine, be equally necessary, with a view to give security against 
accidents by explosion ? — Yes ; both. 

Do you think any danger to lives is to be apprehended from 
condensing-engines without examination ?— I do not think any 
material danger would arise. 

[To be continued.] XIII, Further 

[ 101 ] 

XIII. Further Considerations on the Doctrine that the PhcB- 
nomena of Terrestrial Gravitation are occasio7ied by known 
Terrestrial Motions. By Sir Richard Phillips. 

Q To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — OiNCE the publication of the theory which resolves the 
phaenomena of weigh t, and of falling bodies, into the orbicular and 
rotary motions of the earth, objections have been started, by va- 
rious persons in conversation, and through the public press— 
which the autlior's love of truth, and his respect for some of 
the parties, induce him to consider. 

I. It has been doubted ivkether bodies woi;< J fall in the ex - 
haitsted receiver of an air-pvmp jipon this hj ' tliesis. 

To this it may be replied, that the exhar. ted receiver, the 
contained vacuum, and the bodies let fall btxore, and at the in- 
stant of fall, are all of them as much the patients of the orbicular 
and rotrry motions, as though no such exhanstion had taken 
place. The orbicular motion was carrying forward the whole, 
and the rotary motion was endeavouring tu deflect every part of 
the sustained mass, from the right line of the orbicular luotion. 
The diiTerence f^rising from the al)sence of the air is the same, 
whatever might be the source of the power which caused the 
bodies to fall; that is, a feather would fall in the same time as 
a guinea, simply because the atmosphere opposed no resistance, 
whether the cetitripetal force was produced by governing mo- 
tions or by attraction. 

II. It ii objected that a projectile would continue to ascend 
for ever, unless the force (fatfi action drew it towards the earth. 

To this I reply, that the deflective force of the rotaiy motion 
is equivalent, in the retardation of a projectile, to the supposed 
attraction; and that, in combination with the resistance of the 
atmosphere, tliat dellective force produces all the phaenomena 
of projectiles, being the orbicular force common to both hypo- 

III. It hai been objected thai, if a bpdij ivere let fall in the 
atmosphere, it would either go (ff in a tangent into space, or 
would move for ever in that place, but for the earth's attraction. 

In regard to the assertion, that it might move otf in a tan- 
gent, it need only be considered, that no force has been given it 
in the direction of such tangent, and that bodies do not move 
in any recpiired direction witliout some force exerted in that di- 

And tliat it will not move for ever in an unsupjiorted spot in 
the atmosphere, arises from the influence of the deflecting rotary 
motion, of which it partook when placed there, in which it con- 
tinues, and which it also derives from the surrounding medium. 
G -d IV Jr. 

102 On the Doclrbie that the Phaenomena of Terrestrial 

IV. It is contended that the Galilean laws of falling bodies 
cannot he acconntedfor, except oji t lie principle of a continually 
acting attraction. 

To this I reply, that the great terrestrial motions are, in like 
manner, continually acting ; and that from like causes they must 
produce like phsenomena whenever any body is placed in circum- 
stances to become the sensible patient of their activity. 

V. It is urged that local affections of mountains, or other 
masses, can result only from the attractive influence of those 
masses; and the experiments of Maskelyne and Hution, of 
Bouguer, of Zack, aiid of Cavendi^h^ are adduced as proofs. 

A mighty host, if their acumen and their accuracy bore on 
the question ! But, as I refer all phaenomena to a centre of 
motion, and the Newtonians refer them to a centre of attraction, 
and as both centres are generated by the actual dispositions of all 
the masses of the aggregate — so both centres are varied in po- 
sition by unequal arrangements of the masses ; and tlie motions 
on the surface referable to such centres are varied accordingly, 
and in equal degrees, upon both hypotheses. 

If the earth were an equal and homogeneous sphere, then all 
the phaenomena of falling or suspended bodies would have re- 
ference to the mathematical centre of the mass, and the plumb- 
line would always hang perpendicularly to the visible horizon j 
but, if a mountain, or anv unequal mass, be placed on the sur- 
face, then on one hypothesis the centre of the motion, or on 
the other the centre of the attraction, will be raised above the 
mathematical centre, in a certain proportion, towards that 
mountain, creating a new physical centre ; and all the deflec- 
tions of the rotary motion on this theory, or all the attractions 
on the Newtonian theory, will be made with reference to that 
new centre. The maximum of variation will take place nearest 
to the projecting mass ; and, if the mass were suddenly created, 
or brought near a suspended plummet, it would turn it aside, 
in a given proportion of the bulk of the mass to the bulk of 
the earth; and, as in Mr. Cavendish's experiment, it might 
perhaps be possible to measure the impulse. But, in every 
possible case of such inequalities, the same phenomena must 
and would result from thus varying the centre of the aggregate; 
whether the phenomena were ascribed, as now, to the efficient 
and operative motions of the earth, or, as heretofore, to the 
principle called by the name of attraction*. 

VI. It 

* I have taken it for granted tliat these experiments and calculations are 
correct, because the true results must be included in tiie laws of motion, as 
well as those of gravitation ; but I remark, with profound deference to the 
learned calculators, that die Schihallien result assumes two-thirds of the 
circumference for'3 attraction as a quantity admitted; and, in 
• ' ' ' Mr. 

Gravitation are occasioned by known Terrestrial Motion, 103 

■ VI. It is urged, that, as attraction is admitted to produce 
certain p/icenomena in electricity, galvanism, chemistry, mag- 
netism, and optics, so the attraction of gravitation is but an 
analogous power, and might, in like w.anner, he admitted. 

This argument, to say the least of it, is a very indirect one, 
apd includes a large appeal to faith. I say again,^and with little 
danger of refutation, that the terms attraction and gravitation 
were chimeras of the middle ages, growing out of the schools of 
astrology and magic ; and, in the writings of the illustrious 
Newton, are akin to the ghosts of the equally illustrious Shake- 
speare, or to the sympathies which filled the" heads of all philo- 
sophers in those days. They may he used like characters in an 
algebraic equation; but it is incorrect to substitute them for real 
quantities, or efficient causes, or to set them up in opposition to 
the operative powers of nature, when these are found to be suffi- 
cient to explain phsenomena. Nothing, in truth, has tended 
more to retard the progress of science than thus stopping at the 
phaenomena of attraction, and then impiously treating this se- 
condary cause as the proximate effect of omnipotent agency, 
though it is found to act mechanically and sul)ordinately, accord- 
ing to certain laws of the distance ! 

This is not the place to enter into details to prove that the dif- 
ferent species of meclianical affection, without contact, must all 
be created by different actions of the affected bodies on the me- 
dia which lie between them ; or, mutually, on the surfaces of the 
bodies and the surfaces of the media. I confidently, however, 
calculate on the discovery of the modus operandi by which every 
species of attractive phaenomena is effected, as among the pro- 
bable triumphs of experimental philosophy. I, therefore, con- 
sider the argument in support of a terrestrial attraction, drawn 
from the analogy of supposed local attractions, as irrelevant, be- 
cause, in the sense in which the terms are used, I believe that 
no attraction exists, and that in due time this term will give way 
in all the perfect sciences to its explanations or definitions. 

VII. It is objected that this illustration of the cause of ter- 
restrial gravitation tends to overturn the Newtonian philosophy, 
which is built on the immutable bases of geometry. 

To this 1 reply, that as the great Newton did not affect to ex- 
plain this cause, but merely admitted this name of the effect, so 
any hypothesis which seeks to account for it can have no neces- 

Mr. Cavendish's IcHdrn-lKill,' cxpciinipiit, the e:irtli's attraction is assumed 
to be represented by its di;imecer — tli;it is, in both eases, a quantity un- 
known, and trrovving out «f the hypothesis of gravity, is taken for granted 
to prove that very jiravity. If the known bulk, force, and density, of the 
mountain and the bails were, by exact analogy, to be compared with the 
known bulk of the earth, to determine its force and density, then the results 
will be totally diircrcnt, and the irrelevancy of the experiments be manifest. 

G 4 sary 

104 On the Doctrine that the P^csnomena of Terrestrial 

sary opposition to his svstem. At the same time there is a la- 
tent, though popular error, in confounding physics and geometry, 
for all plivsical effects result from con)petent jjroximate causes, 
often varying ; and all geometrical lavxs result from relation^, 
always Jixed. But, if our excellent philoso])her so well accounted 
for tiie phaeuomena of the solar system bv geometry, founded on 
the basis of an occult principle, with how much more satisfaction 
would he have done it on a mechanical basis ! The author of 
this hypothesis has calculated, however, on no change but iu 

VIII. It is asserted, that as gravilalion is a f/at nf Omnipo- 
ience, so to attempt to account for it is beyond the due hounds of 
philosophical inquiry. 

Without intending any personal disrespect to tho<c who have 
used this argument, it may be asserted, that such has been the 
prejudice of ignorance from the age in which man first used a 
spade to augment the natural productions of the earth, to the 
days of Galileo, and even to our time, when Jenner discovered 
the means of extirpating a fatal disease. Shall we more nearly 
approach the causk of causks in determining the mechanism 
by which a planet is lield together, or by which a system moves, 
than by investigating the circulation of the blood, or by the che- 
mical analysis of any substance in Nature ? The causes of mo- 
tion would still remain behind ; and, v,-ere a future age to discover 
these, the prime mover of all things, the suijliuic and incompre- 
hensible Creator and Preserver, would still be at an infinite di- 
stance from the finite powers of man. 

IX. It is asserted that the law of gravitation is not proved 
to he the law cj' motion. 

To prove tiic affirmative of this proposition was, however, the 
entire business of the '' Principiu" of Newton, and has been the 
employment of all mathematicians from his time to our own. If 
the laws of motion are not the laws of gravitation, then have 
philosophers been riio^ming duri;).; the last bundled years. I 
merely identify what they have proved; and, as mathematicians 
have, by the hypothesis of gravitation, proved the la^s of mo- 
tion, I now desire to discard the urdtnown or assumed (juantity,, 
and to restore the known motions of Nature in its place— for 
the purpose of explaining the modus operandi by which the 
phajnomena are produced. 

It is imagined that I had forgotten the relations of radii and 
circles : I was not, however, alluding to circles, biit to the sur- 
faces of concentric spheres, which were the objects of discussion, 
and which are to each otiier as the squares of their radii. The 
ipacts generated on spherical surfaces being to each other as 
the stjuares of their radii, it follows that the quanlilies of motion 


"Gravitation are occasioned by known Terrestrial Motion. 105 

generated in each stratum, and the forces generating those mo- 
tions, are in the same ratio. On tiiis point there is nothing to 
add or to alter. 11' the concentric strata were in density recipro- 
callv as the squares of their distances, and inidistnrhed, there 
would lie no phsnomena ; but it is the disturbance of that which 
has been in a state of e{|uiiihrium (either In* distance frcm the 
centre, or bv the resistance of friction), which (,ccE3ions the 
sensible phaenomena of weight, or of falling bodies. 

I do not, however, consider that these observations conclude 
the subject ; for I admit, th:it all the circum-tanccs which exist 
among the parts nf a sphere, moving in an orbit, the momenta 
of whose masses in the concentric strata are e'jualized by a ro- 
tary motion, as well as the effects arising from the centre of 
density, not being the mathematical centre; and also from ac- 
cidental disturbances in the equilibrium of particular bodies, 
merit the careful analysis of pbllosopical mathematicians. 

At the same time, although the mathematical laws must ne- 
cessarily be the same, it is not indifferent, in human inquiries, 
whether physical phaenomena are ascribed generally to gravita- 
tion, of which nothing is affected to be known, or to motion, of 
which v.'e may not know the primary origin. We know, at any 
rate, more of motion than we know of gravitation. Besides the 
laws common to both, v,e knov/ that motion is an accident of 
bodies which gives them momenta, and causes them to change 
their situations in space ; and we know that some motions are 
general, antecedent, or prirnarv, and that others are local, con- 
sequent, or subordinate. In the oroblem before us, we are there- 
fore enabled to show that known effects are conseraiences of se- 
veral known motions, thereby attaining a degree of analysis, which 
could never be effected, if we refened the same phaenomena to 
the general name of gravitation. 

Coiicluiion. These, I believe, are the chief objections which 
have been imagined and promulgated in opposition to a theory 
which substitutes the known motions of Nature as operative 
causes of c"! tain physical phaenomena, in place of an eisiumed 
principle called ciavitation. Isy which, fd-e analogies have been 
introduced into philosophy, and effects ascribed to a cause neither 
proximate nor in contact. It may te difficult to analyse, in like 
manner, the motions which produce all the celc-tiai phsenomena, 
or trac: the s.n.rces of particular motions; and it maybe im- 
possible for man to Ascertain any other origin of motion than the 
subb' !'• f »• '•! "<■ I ^'>K«: hut we advance another step in hu- 
man •. ;; disc<iver that tlie two-fold motions of 
a pi . . iei.t to the consolidation and unity of its 
ma* lit causes, by means of which bodies removed 
out o. u;. ■; i.'|uwiijrium are restored to the mass, 

XIV. On 

[ 106 ] 

XIV. On the Oxi-hjdrogen Bloiv-pipe. By Mr. Robert 
Hare, of Philadelphia. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

I Philadelphia, June 2r, 1817. 

T is now almost fourteen years since vou honoured 
my memoir on the Supply and Application of the Blow-pipe with 
a place in the Philosophical Magazine, vol. xiv. In that paper 
it will be seen that the heat, produced by the ignition of the 
gaseous elements of water, was employed by me in 1801-2, in fus- 
ing or volatilizing the most refractory earths and metals. A sub- 
sequent article, in the sixth volume of the American Philosophical 
Transactions, mentions the fusion of strontites, and complete and 
rapid volatilization of platinum. Yet Dr. Clarke has lately 
published a paper on this subject, as if it were an original dis- 
covery. I therefore inclose you a memoir of my friend Professor 
Silliman, by which it will be seen how far Dr. Clarke can be 
justified for treating his experiments as new. I hope you will 
republish it. It is a simple act of justice, which I should hope, 
as the editor of a scientific journal, you will render me without 
hesitation. I request any fellow- labourer in the la,boratory to 
reflect on the injustice, which is likely to be done, to Professor 
Silliman and myself, in having the facts mentioned by Dr. Clarke 
as his own, quoted on his authority instead of ours. 
1 am, sir, with due consideration. 

Your obedient servant, 
Robert Hare. 

Experiments on the Fusion of various refractory Bodies, ly the 
Compound Blow-pipe of Mr. Hare. By Benjamin Silli- 
man, Prof Chem. and M in. in Yale-College'^. 

A section of the Pneumatic Cistern of Yale College, with the 
Compound Bloiv-pipe of Mr. Hare for burning Hydrogen 
mingled with Oxygen Gas, is shown in fig. 1. (Plate II.) 

References to the Figure. 

AAAA. — The pneumatic cistern, filled with water. For a plate 
and full description, see the Boston edition of Henry's, Che- 

B. — A gas reservoir, of the capacity of twelve gallons, filled 
with oxygen gas, either by the action of the hydrostatic bellows 
at O, or by a recurved tube passing from a,bove through the 
water, and hooked under B : parallel and contiguous to B, on 

* From Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 
vol. i. part iii. 1813. 


On the Oxi-hydrogen Blow-pipe. 107 

the other side of the cistern, is another gas reservoir, of the 
same capacity, which may be connected witli B, or not, at plea- 

C. — The same, in every respect ; only C is filled with hy- 
drogen by hydrostatic bellows at 00, or by a recurved tube, as 

D. — Copper tubes, half an inch in diameter, furnished with 
stop-cocks at f, and inserted into the gas reservoirs B,C. 

E. — Recurved tubes of flexible metal, furnished with double 
screws at F, which connect them with a pair of brass blow-pipes, 
cut off at G, and soldered to two strong cast silver tubes, which 
screw, air-tis^ht, into H, an inverted pyramidal piece of platinum, 
in which two converging ducts as large as a pin are perforated, 
forming a continuation of the tubes, and uniting in a common 
passage, somewhat larger, just before their exit, at the common 
orifice below. The subject to be operated upon is sustained by 
charcoal, or forceps, and held by the hand, just below the orifice 
in the piece H. 

The gases at EC are under hydrostatic pressure, which is 
easilv recruited as the gases run out, either by throwing com- 
mon air with the bellows into one of the spare reservoirs, or by 
introducing more of either of the gases into the appropriate re- 
servoir, and peculiarly of hydrogen, both on account of the 
facility with which it is obtained, and because twice as much of 
it, in bulk, is wanted as of oxygen. 

The rapidity of efflux of the gases, and their due proportion, 
are easilv regulated, by turning, more or less, the keys of the stop- 
cocks at /■; and the effects of cither gas alone, may be observed 
l.'v sliutting the stop-cock leading to the other. 

When the compound flame is desired, the hydrogen is first 
let out and fired ; the blaze should be somewhat larger than that 
of a candle ; the oxygen is then let into the hydrogen till the 
effect is the greatest, which a little habit will soon ascertain. 

The flame of the hydrogen is veiy much narrowed by the in- 
troduction of oxygen, and there is no appearance of peculiar 
splendour or heat, till sonic body capable of reflecting the light 
and heat is placed in the focus, which is usually about one-fourth 
of an inch below the orifice. 

All the apparatus below FF is easily detached by turning the 
dou!)le screws ; — the strong silver tubes are intended to prevent 
fusion of this part of the apparatus, and to admit of connexion 
with the platiniun j^iece by means of a screw cut on the silver 
tubes; this obviates the necessity of using a solder, which would 
be very liable to melt, and the platinum piece is, for a similar 
reason, substituted for the silver cylinder originally used by Mr. 
JHare, as e\j)erience has shown that these are liable to fusion. 


108 Oji the Oxi-hydrogen Blow-pipe. 

No flux or addition of any kiii'.l was employed in the following 

On the Fusion qfvanoiis refractory Bodies ly the Compound 
Bloiu-pipe of Mr. Hare. 

The philosophical worhj beliold witli pleasure and astonish- 
ment the effects produce'^ on the fusion and combustion of 
bodies by a stream of ox'/gen gas directed upon burning char- 
coal. The splendour of t'/iese exjK;riments arrested universal at- 
tention; and Lavoisier, vrith his gasometer, was enabled in this 
manner to produce a degree of heat surpassing that of the most 
powerful furnaces, and even of the solar focus. Bodies which 
no degree of heat, previously applied, had been able to soften, 
now became fluid, and philosoj)hy appeared to have attained the 
limit of its power iu exciting heat ; indeed, it seemed to have 
advanced very far towards realizing the opinion, that solidity and 
fluidity are accidental attributes of bodies, dependant solely on 
the quantity of caloric which they contain, and that therefore 
they may be supposed capable of existing in either of these con- 

Still, however, there were, in fact, many important exceptions. 
Of the primitive earths, Lavoisier had been enabled to fuse only 
alumine — while the rest remained refractory, and seemed, fully 
entitled to the character of infusibility, usually attributed to this 
class of bodies : many native minerals, and especially those which 
are most distinguished for hardness, beauty, and simplicity of 
composition, maintained the same character, and some of them 
refused to melt even when heated with powerful fluxes. 

The beautiful invention of Mr. Robert Hare of Philadelphia, 
by which he succeeded in burning, with safety and convenience, 
the united stream of oxygen and hydrogen gases, greatly ex- 
tended our dominion over refractory bodies, and presented new 
and very interesting results. Mr. Hare's memoir, originally 
communicated to the Chemical Society of Philadelphia, has been 
some years before the public, and lias been republished and 
handsomely noticed both in France and England. Still, how- 
ever, his results have not found their way iiito the systematical 
books on chemistry, (with the exception of Mr. Murray's sy- 
stem,) notwithstanding that some of the European Professors 
have availed thetuselves of Mr. Hare's invention, so far as to ex- 
hi it his most sj)lendid and striking experiments to their classes. 

The v.riter of this article, although fully disclaiming any share 
in Mr. Hare's invention, was early associated with him in his 
experiments: they excited in his mind a degree of interest, which 
led him to hope that they would be repeated and extended by 
others; but as nothing of this kind has a])pcared iu this country, 


On Uhe Oxi-hydrogm Blow-pipe. 109 

perliaps the follov/ing experiments may not be altogether unin- 
teresting, especially as they were performed with an apparatus 
of a construction, somewliat more simple than the original. 

It vnW be necessary to recollect that Mr. Hare not only melted 
aluniiiie, which Lavoisier had done before, but also silex and 
larytes, and by subsequent experiments he added stronliles to 
the of fusible bodies: he was inclined to believe that he had 
volatilized gold and silver, a conclusion which was rendered 
highly probable by his having afterwards evidently volatilized 

The experiments of Mr. Hare, as will appear below, have 
be\:;n repeated by the writer of this paper with success; and many 
other Ijodics among the most refractory in Nature have beeo 
melted. For the sake of showing how far the experiments now 
to be recited have affected our knowledge of the dominion of 
heat, (\uotations, for comparison, will occasionally be made from 
one of the latest and most respectable chemical authorities- 
Murray's System, 2d ed. 

Bodies SKlnnilied to the Heat of the Compound Blow-pipe ^ 
Mr. Hare. 


Silex — beini]: in a fine powder, it was blown awav by the cur- 
rent of gas; but when moistened with water it became aggluti- 
nated by the heat, and was then perfectly fused into a colourless 

Alumine — perfectly fused into a milli-white enamel. 

Barytes — fused immediately, with intumescence, owing to 
water, as observed by Lavoisier ; it then became solid aiid dry, 
but soon melted again into a perfect globule, a grayish-white 

Slronfites — the same. 

Glucive — perfectly fused into a white enamel. 

Zircon — the same. 

Lime — in small pieces, it was immediately blown off from the 
cliarcoal : to prevent this, as well as to obviate the suspicion 
that any foreign matter had contributed to its fusion, the fol- 
lowing expedient was resorted to. A piece of lime, from the 
Carrara marble, was strongly ignited in a covered platinum cru- 
cible ; one angle of it was then shaped into a small cylinder, 
about one-fourth of an inch high, and somewhat thicker than a 
great pin : the cylinder remained in connexion with the piece 
of lime : this was lield by a pair of forceps, and thus the small 
cylinder of lime was brought into contact with the heat, without 
danger of being blown away, and without a possibility of conta- 
mination : there was this furtlicr advantage, (as the cxperimenc 


110 On the Oxi-hydrogcn Bloiu-plpe. 

was delicate and the determination of the result might be diffi- 
cult,) that, as the cylinder was held in a perpendicular position, 
if the lime did really melt, the column must sink and become, at 
least to a degree, blended with the supporting mass of lime. 
When the compound flame fell upon the lime, the splendour of 
the light was perfectly insupportable by the naked eye; and when 
viewed through deep-coloured glasses (as indeed all these experi- 
ments ought to be), the lime was seen to become rounded at the 
angles, and gradually to sink, till in the course of a few seconds 
only a small globular protuberance remained, and the mass of 
supporting lime was also superficially fused at the base of the 
column, through a space of half an inch in diameter. The 
protuberance, as well as the contiguous portion of lime, was con- 
verted into a perfectly white and glistening enamel ; a magni- 
fying glass discovered a few minute pores, but not the slightest 
earthy appearance. This experiment was repeated several times, 
and Avith uniform success ; may not lime therefore be added to 
the list of fusible bodies ? 

Magnesia. — The same circumstances that rendered the ope- 
rating upon lime difficult, existed in a still greater degree, with 
respect to magnesia; its lightness and pulverulent form rendered 
it impossible to confine it for a moment upon the charcoal ; and 
as it has very little cohesion, it could not be shaped by the knife, 
as the lime had been. After being calcined, at full ignition, in 
a covered platinum crucible, it was kneaded with water, till it 
became of the consistence of dough. It was then shaped into a 
rude cone as acute as might be, but still very blunt ; the cone was 
three-fourths of an inch long, and was supported upon a coiled 

The magnesia thus prepared, was exposed to the compound 
flame: the escape of the water caused the vertex of the cone to 
fly off in repeated flakes, and the top of the frustum, that thus 
remained, gave nearly as powerful a reflection of light as the lime 
had done : from the bulk of the piece (it being now one-fourth 
of an inch in diameter at the part where the flame was applied) 
no perceptible sinking could be expected. After a few seconds, > 
the piece being examined with a magnifying glass, no roughnesses 
or earthy particles could be perceived on the spot, but a number of 
glassy, smooth protuberances, whose surface was a perfectly white 
enamel. This experiment was repeated with the same success. 
May not magnesit., then, be also added to the table of fusible 
bodies ? 

Yltria — was the only remaining primitive earth; but no speci- 
men of it could be obtained. 

Perhaps then we shall be justified in saying, in future, that the 
primitive earths are fusible bodies, although not fusible in fur-. 


On the Oxi-hydregen Blow-pipe. HI 

tiaces, in the solar focus, nor (with the exception of alumine, and 
possibly barytes,) even by a stream of oxygen gas directed upon 
burning charcoal. 

Platinum — was not only melted, but volatized with strong 


Roch Cn/slal — transparent and colourless. This mineral was 
instantly melted into a beautiful white glass. " It not only does 
not melt in the focus of the most powerful burning mirror, but 
it remains without fusion, at least when in the state of rock cry- 
stal, in the still more intense heat excited by a stream of oxygen 
gas directed on burning charcoal." (Murray, ii. 261.) " It is 
even imperfectly softened by the intense heat, excited by a stream 
of oxygen gas, directed on the flame." (of the blow-pipe lamp.) 
—(Ibid. iii. rA3.) 

Common Quartz — fused immediately into a vitreous globule. 

Gun Flint — melted with equal rapidity: it first became white, 
and the fusion was attended with ebullition and a separation of 
numerous small ignited globules which seemed to biun away as 
they rolled out of the current of flame : the product of this fusion 
was a beautifld splendid enamel. — " It is infusible before the 
blow-pipe, but loses its colour." — (Ibid. 518.) 

Chalcedony — melted rapidly,and gave a beautiful blueish-white 
enamel resembling opal. " It is infusible before the blow- pipe." 
— (Ibid. 516.) 

Oriental Carnelian — fused with ebullition;, and produced a 
semitransparent white globule with a fine lustre. 

Red Jasper — from the Grampians, was slowly fused with a 
sluggish effervescence; it gave a grayish black slag, with white 

" It is infusible before the blow-pipe, even when the flame is 
excited by a stream of oxygen gas." — (Ibid. 519.) 

Smoky Quartz — or smoky topaz melted into a colourless glo - 

Beryl — melted instantly into a perfect globule, and continued 
in a violent ebullition as long as the flame was applied ; and 
when, after the globule became cold, it was heated again, the 
ebullition was ecjually renewed j the globule was a glass of a 
beautiful blueish-milky white. 

" The beryl is melted with difficulty before the blow-pipe alone, 
but easily when borax is added." — (Ibid. 511.) 

Emerald of Peru. — The same ; only the globule was green, 
and perfectly transparent. 

Oiwin — fused into a dark-brown globule, almost black. " It 
can scarcely be melted by the blow-pipe without addition." — 
(Ibid, 534.) .... - • 


112 On the Oxi-hydrogen Blow^pipe. 

Vesuvian — instantlv melted into a beautiful green glass. *' It 
melts before the blow-pipe into a yellowish glass."' — (Ibid. 534.) 

Leuci'.e — instantly i'used into a perfectly transparent white 
glass : the fusion was attended with strong ebullition, and many 
ignited globules darted from it and burnt in the air, or rolled out 
upon the charcoal and then burned. Were they not potassium ? 
This stone contains full 20 per cent, of potash: — This hint will 
be resumed below. 

*' It is not fused before the blow-pipe."— (Murray, iii. 534.) 

Chrysoheryl — (Cymophane of Haiiy) was immediately fused 
into a gravish-vvhite globule. " It is not melted by the blow- 

pipe."_(lbid. 499.)' 

A crystallized Mineral. — From Haddani, Connecticut j ac- 
cording to the Abbe HaiJv, it is chrysoheryl; according to Co- 
lonel Gibbs, corv7iduni: it fused with ebullition and scintilla- 
tions, and produced a very dark globule almost black. 

Topaz. — of Saxony, melted with strong ebullition, and became 
a white enamel. " It is infusible before the blow-pipe, but 
melts when borax is added." — (Ibid. 498.) 

Sappar or Kyanite — perfectly and instantly fused, with ebul- 
lition, into a white enamel. " It remains perfectly unaltered 
before the flame of the blow-pipe even when excited by oxygen 
gas."— (Ibid. 499.) 

Connidian — of the East Indies, was immediately and perfectly 
fused into a gray globule. 

Corundum — of China, the same with active ebullition. Corun- 
dum " is not fused by the flame of the blow-pipe on charcoal 
even when soda or borax is added to it." — (Ibid. 495.) 

Zircon — of Ceylon, melted with ebullition into a white enamel. 
*' It is not melted alone before the flame of the blow-pipe, but 
if borax is added it forms a transparent glass." — (Murray, iii. 

Hyacinth — of Expailly, fused into a white enamel. " It 
loses its colour before the flame of the blow-pipe, but it is not 
fused J it melts with borax into a transparent glass." — (Ibid. 

Cinnamon stone — instantly fused into a black globule with 
violent ebullition. 

Spinelle Ruby — fused immediately into an elliptical red glo- 
bule. " It does not melt before the blow-pipe, but is fused by 
the aid of borax."— (Ibid. 497.) 

Steatite — melted with strong ebullition into a grayish slag. — 
*' It does not melt before: the blow-pipe, but becomes white and 
very hard."— (Ibid..482.) 

Porcelain, common pottery, fragments of Hessian crucibles, 
Wedgwood's ware, various natural clays, as pipe and porcelain 


0?i the Oxi-hydroge7i Blow-pipe. 113 

clay, fire and common biick, and compound rock'=;, &;c. were 
fused with ccjual ease. 

During the action of the compound flame upon the alkaline 
earths, provided they were supported by charcoal, distinct glo- 
bules often rolled and darted out from the ignited mass, and 
burnt, sometimes vividlv, and with peculiarly coloured flame. 
From the nature of the experiments, it will not be easy to prove 
that these globules were the basis of the earths, and yet there is 
the strongest reason to believe it ; circumstances could scarcely 
be devised more favourable to tlie simultaneous fusion and de- 
compo'jition of these bodies ; charcoal highly ignited for a sup- 
port, and an atmosphere of hydrogen also in vivid and intense 
ignition ; that the oxygen should be, under these circumstances, 
detached, is not surprising; but the high degree of heat and the 
presence of oxvgen necessarily binn up the metalloids almost as 
soon as pvodnced. If means could be devised to obviate this 
difficulty, the blow-pipe of Mr. Hare might become an important 
instrument of analytical research.. 

We can scarcely fail to attribute some of the appearances, du- 
ring the fusion of" the leueite, to the decomposition of the pot- 
ash it contains. 

This impression was much strengthened by exposing potash 
and soda to the compound flame, with a sujiport of charcoal ; 
they were evidently decomposed: numerous distinct globules 
rolled out from them, and burnt with the peculiar vivid white 
light and flash which these metalloids exhibit when produced and 
ignited in the Galvanic circuit. It is hoped that these hints may 
induce a further investigation of this subject. 

The experiments whicli have now been related in connexion 
with t!ie original ones of Mr. Hare, sufficiently show that science 
is not a little indebted to that gentleman for his ingenious and 
beautiful invention. — It was certainly a happy thought, and the 
result of vcrv philosophical views of combustion, to suppose that 
a highly combustible gaseous body, by intinsate mixture \yith 
oxygen" gas, must, when kindled, produce intense heat: and it is 
no'doubt to this capability of perfectly intimate mixture between 
these two bodies, that the effects of the compound blow-pipe 
are in a great measure to be ascribed. 

This communication has already l)ecn extended further than 
was contemplated; i)ut on concluding it, it maybe allowable to 
remark, that tlicre is now in all probability no body, except some 
of the combustible ones,'wliich is exempt from the law of fusion 
by heat. If the primitive earths, and such minerals as several 
of those wiiicb have been mentioned above, are fusible, no doubt 
can l)e entertained that ail other mixtures and coniljinations of 
earths are fusible also : for sucli mixtures and combinations are 

Vol. 50. No.232. ^tt^'z«MSl7. H known 

1 H Oit the Sleum-Vitscl hcliueen London and Exeter. 

known to be more fusible than the primitive earths ; the metuls 
arc more fusible than the earths ; and the diamond, along with 
carbon in its otlier purest forms, appears to be really the only 
exception ; and it is probable that this is only a seeming one, 
for it is scarcely possible to expose these bodies to the heat of 
the compound blow-pijje, without at the same time l)urninsj 
them up: could the heat be applied without exposinjj: them to 
the contact of oxygen, is it not probable that they also would 
be added to the list of fusible bodies ? 
Y;ile-Cullet;e, May 7, 18.2. 

To the foregoing (which lias been printed from the published 
Transactions of the Comiecticut Academy) the following P. S. 
was added in manuscript: 

'* P.S. — In subsequent experiments gold, silver, platina, and 
most of the metals were not only volatilized but burnt with pe- 
culiar flames." 

Some of mv readers mav l)e inclined to think that the facts 
do not warrant all that INlr. Hare has stated respecting Dr. 
Clarke's claim as an inventor. On that point I sliall give no 
opinion ; but it should be observed that in Mr. Hare's apparatus 
the gases are not in mixture till they are brought together at the 
piece H. 

By Mr. Hare's arrangement it is obvious that the operator is 
complt'tely secured against any danger from an explosion : and 
it must appear equally obvious to any person who shall consider 
the subject, that by having two condensing vessels foi' the gas- 
reservoirs B and C, every residt can be obtained which the uniied 
gases from one vessel can possibly yield : for, l)y means of the 
cocks at /' the efflux of the oases may be regulated, as remarked 
by Professor Silliman, till any required degree of mixture or effect 
is produced. — A. T. 

XV. On tlie Steam-Vessel proposed to le emplnyed letneen 
London and Exeter. By A Correspondent. 

To Mr. Tilloclt. 

Sir, — O.AVING been long of opinion that vessels propelled by 
steam may be used with advantage for the general coasting trade; 
I have at length determined, in conjunction with some friends 
who are of the same opinion, forthwith to establish a vessel for 
conveyance of goods and passengers from London to this port. 
The particular advantage such an establishment would have here, 
over vessels of the ordinary description, is the degree of cer- 
tainty attending the setting out and arrival j the want of which 

A MuthemalicQl Qiiest'wn. 115 

111 the usual mode of water-carriage indiiccs many tradesmen to 
have gooils by tliat more expensive conveyance, the waggon ; and 
others are sui)jcct to much inconvenience by liaving tlieir goods 
detained for a month or six weeks, by the j)revalence of westerly 
and south-westerly winds. The only steam-vessels I have had 
an opportunity of seeing are those used on the Thames, which 
being constructed for passengers chielly, are not adapted for 
goods, being deficient of stowage : — besides, from their having 
such an extended width of deck, to cover the paddle-wheels, it 
is conceived these vessels, or any enlarged vessel on such a mo- 
del, would be unsafe in the Channel. 1 have therefore subjoined 
a sketch of t!ie plan on which it is proposed to construct our 
vessel (see Plate II. figs. 3 and -1). The form intended is that 
which may be most approved for stowage and sailing, or rather 
that will move through the water with the least resistance. The 
paddle-wheels are proposed tol)e placed at the stern, for the fol- 
lowing reasons. First, to obviate the inconvenience of the in- 
crease of deck by their l)eing placed over the sides. Secondly, 
by placing them at the stern, the diameter or breadth of the 
wheels can be much increased without causing the roll such 
ponderous weights would occasion when on the sides. Thirdly, 
the machinery and boiler occiipving the afterniost part of the 
vessel, will not interfere with .so much valuable stowage. Fourthly, 
the^ vessel will lie by the side of a wharf for the purposes of 
taking in and discharging her cargo without injury to the wheels. 
And lastly, — and which fortius jjort, is a matter of more import- 
ance than the preceding, having to pass through two locks of a 
navigable river, — the paddle-wheels must otherwise be contrived 
to takeoff, to admit the vessel through.— My object in this ad- 
dress is tb gain the of)inions of your more experienced readers, 
and to adopt such hints as may be gathered from others who 
have made this subject their study. 
1 am, sir, 

- Your most humble servant, 
Exeter, July 29, 1317. Q^ 

XVI. A Mathetnalka/ Qucslhm. By A Correspondent. 

To Mr. Tillock. 

Sir, — v^ONsiDERiNG, how many able Mathematicians rend 
your truly scientific Work, and often correspond with you, it has 
.■wmewhat hur|)rised me, that so few of them have appeared to 
notice, and take a part in the elaborate and curious researches, 
relating to Musical Intervals, which have been occasionallv sent 
to you for iiihertion, in your last 24 vohmies, bv Mr, Farcy urn. 

11 2 within 

liI6: Liter ary. Hardsliips of practical Authors. 

within the j)eiiod of tl.e last 10 vears ; particuhiily since tlic 
publication of Mr. Liston's Essay, in 1812, and since tiie frequent 
exhiljition of his Euhiirinonic Organs, have given those experi- 
mental and practical illustrations on the subject, which before 
were a good deal wanting. 

In the hopas of obtaining answers from several of your Corre- 
spondents alluded to, I beg to propose to them the following 
Question: which I have been enabled myself to solve, principally, 
through studying the paper inserted in your last volume, p. 442; 

What are the Ratios, Fahies {\\\ Mr. Farcy's Notation), the 
Na?7ie>, the Vihralions and the Beats in 1" of the three fol- 
lowing Intervals, above Tenor Cliff C, viz. C b"J F'''b4, and 

I am, your obedient servant, 

July 26, 1817. ■ PhiI.O-MusICUS. 

p. S. It is a good rule, which I have observed Mr. Farey arfd 
other correct Writers follow, of always (or mostly) defining or 
expressing Musical Intervals, iji mo7-e (lian one mude, ibr avoiding 
mistakes or ambiguify, through errors of the press, or miscon- 
ception. I will thercicrc here, although the literal designation 
of the three re([uircd notes which are given above, are sufficient 
to determine them; mention, that their ranges or places, 
i na sufiiciently extencjed Listonian Tuning Table arc, —12111 
—84V, +2ni-37V, andlll-fSV, respectively: and I beg 
to add to mv Question above projjosed, the further rc(]uest, that 
the answers thereto may, matlieaiaticaliy deduce these latter or 
tuneable definitions of the Intervals, from their literal ones. 

XVII. 071 the Cases of Injustice which Authors sovietima svjfcr 
from other IVriters, and from Annotatars ; particularly the 
late Mr. .Tohn Williams, Author vf the " Mineral King- 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — i ouii pages, and those of every ether independent 
periodical Journal, contain frequent instances of living Authors, 
seeing just occasion of complaint, on the score of injustice done 
to their literary labours, by other more recent VWiters ; and some- 
times also, these complaints are either preferred or seconded by 
others, who have a personal friendship, or else a similarity of 
thinking and feeling, with the writer agrieved: and not unfre- 
quently, persons are seen standing forward as the advocates of 
the reputation of Authors who are deceased, in cases where mani- 

Literary Hardships of practical Azithors. 117 

fest injustice ma\ have been done or attempted, on the character 
of works, whose Authors or their personal friends, can no longer 
defend their writings, either as to the knowledge possessed by 
the writers, or, as to the honestv, ability or care,with which their 
sentiments were given. 

In most instances, a feeHng towards the support of undefended 
merit, as last mentioned, issuffi^iently strong, to counteract and 
expose the improper designs or conduct of recent writers ; but a 
case sometimes occurs, in whicli a person, not professedly a li- 
terary character, composes a Work, towards the close of Ins life, 
containing the results of his own laborious researches and ex- 
perience, including perhaps, those of some of his friends also, in 
some practicable art or useful science, the details and principles 
of which he may have gone further tn developing, than wa-; cur- 
rent at the time, anioiig the professed writers and Book-makers, 
who were his contemporaries, and immediate successors: and 
perhaps this person, may happen also, to adopt the expedient, at 
ail times a hazardous one, of being the pul)lisher of his own work, 
by subscription, vnthout transferring to a regular publishing and 
advertizing Bookseller, any permanent interest in its literary 
success or general sale: in such last case, it is not imcommon, 
that the Writer should be able to j)rint and give circulation only 
to a limited number of copies, just sufficient to make his work 
somewhat known, and began to be inquired after, when tlie 
Author is deceased and the work out of print, as is said, and no 
longer to be procured, but accidentally in the shops of second- 
hand Booksellers. 

After a period of frequent inquiries for a book of the above 
description, it happens that some publishing Bookseller, with 
or without the knowledge or concurrence of the siirviving rela- 
tives of the deceased Author, if he has any, entertains the design, 
of printing a new Edition of the Book, which seems thus in re- 
tjuest; and in order to secure the chance of a more extended sale, 
instead of searching for any surviving friends of the deceased, 
who may be engaged in the same line of pursuit, or other per- 
sons practised therein, who could supply the illustrative notes or 
additions, which the further progress of knowledge since the first 
printing, may have shown to be necessary, in the opinions of such 
person^;, as were fully conversant in the practical pursuits and views 
of the Author, aifd had visited the ]daces he may have locally <!e- 
scriljed, and attempting no further alteration of his work : — more 
probably, some learned Professor issoughtfor and engaged, inorder 
to give eclat to the matter, by his own splendid additions to the 
new and revised Edition: these additions being perhaps, of a 
kind, very different from, and very inferior perhaps, in point of 

H 3' ' con- 

118 Mr. Williams, and his Annolalor Dr. Millar. 

consistency or practicable utility, with the original work, into 
\vhii;h they were tlius to be foisted. 

In this way it is plain, that the generality of the readers and 
approvers of a Work, thus at second-hand, the orioinal of which 
they may have never seen, may have but inadequate notions, 
of the real and comparative knowledge and merits of the de- 
ceased Author, and his original work, and are thereby prevented 
from discovering the full amount of injustice which the Annota^ 
tor or others, may have done the Author ; and under these cir- 
cumstances, considerable time mav elapse, before any one stands 
forwards, in such works as yours, or otherwise, to vindicate the 
deceased Author's credit, and put tiie public more fully in pos^ 
session of the results of his laboms. 

1 have thus far spoken gent-rally, in order now to attempt to 
apply a good deal of what has been said, to the case of the late 
Mr. John Williams, a praclkul Miner and Collier, who in 
17S9, put to press in Edinburgh, near to which city he then re- 
sided, the result of more than -J() years' experience in his pro- 
fession, and of unwearied research and in(]iiiry, as to tlie Geo- 
logical facts of almost every part of the British Islands, &c. under 
the title o{ " The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom," 
&c. in two volumes, octavo. 

Mr. Williams did not in his day, any more than a great pa»t 
of the practical Miners, Colliers and Geologists of the present, 
day, see, that any great good could result, from going into the 
nice technical distinctions of Minerals, under a very great variety 
of genera and species, far beyond tKe purposes of useful Geology 
or practical Mining (which Mineralogical refinements were be- 
ginning to be fashionable about the time he wrote, and have since 
greatly increased) ; such as could repay him for the labour and 
research necessary for making these distinctions, or for the di-. 
version from his ordinary pursuits, of more practicable and useful 
kinds, which such an apj)lication to technical mineralogy would 
have occasioned. 

Accordingly, most of those who have expected to find in Mr. 
Williams's Book, announced as above, any thing like a minera- 
hgical, System, or laboin-ed technical descriptions of Minerals, 
much less a Geological System founded on nice Mineral distinc- 
tions, have been somewhat disappointed: the end and aim of the 
Author, having be^n very diflerent, viz. that of detailing in plain 
and simple language, the chief phaenomena of the Earth, re- 
garding its Strata (those accompanying Coals in particular) 
their contortions, dislocations, and interesting Veins (those con- 
taining Metallic Ores in particular) Mountains, Volcanoes,&c. &c. 
In the year 1810, asecond Edition of Mr. Williams's Book 


Mr. Williams, and his Armotator Dr. Millar. 119 

was printed in Edinburgh, " with an Appendix containing a 
more extended vieu' of Mineralogy and Geology, bv James Millar, 
M.D. F.S.A.S. Lecturer," &c. It appears from Dr. Millar's 
preface, that it was his intention at commencing the work, and 
until near oO jjages of it were printed off, '• to add explanatory 
Notes to the original text of the Author ;" hut then the plan was 
changed, into that of giving Mr. Williams's Work with<mt com- 
ment or illustration, merely divided in a more formal manner 
into Chapters, and curtailed of i/. i redundancies ; and the ap- 
|)endix, as a separate work liy Dr.Millur, was to be so enlarged, 
as to occupy all but the first 67 pages of the second volume : 
making in fact, two distinct works " independent, so that each 
may be perused as a whole," yet thus tacked together, rather 
loo much in the Book-making stvle*. 

In several careful perusals which 1 have given this second edi- 
tion of Mr. Williams's Work, in order to comprehend and trea- 
sure up the rich collection of practical facts which he has men- 
tioned, and the many sagacious hints and suggestions which he 
gives, on the objects of my favourite study and pursuit, I have 
increasingly on every re-j)erusal, seen reason, to disapprove the 

* In 1802, a Writer in England, UTr. John Mawe, e';erl out a measure 
Octavo, entitled " Tlie Mincralosiy f>f Dcrbvsliin," by 24 [jatres, of what 
he calls "An Analysis of Mr. VVillianis's Work, entitled The Mineral 
Kingdom;" on the I'rcquent perusal of which "account of Mr. Williams's 
Book," I am unable to discover, any other motives or desii^n the Writer 
had therein, beyond those hinted at in the text, and to exult in his own 
asiumed superiority, Hi, A technical Mineraloi^ist, (or descriher of, and dealer 
in, /iiind S/jecimens), -^uid to abuse Mr.VVilliams, most unmercifully and un- 
justly, on the score nf confusion, and tedious prolixity in his Ideas and 
Writings ; m doini; which, he has had the audacity to alleue, at p. 17B, that 
Air. Williams's " real facts and ohsc rvations," "are buried ni a inais of idle 
declamation!;" aii^jain, in p. 184, that" nothinii can exceed the prolixity of 
his declamations," " which raiely present one ray of solid information I !;" 
&c. &c. 

For such conduct as this, towards his .\utlior, it nnuht have been ex- 
pected by iin|)arual and unprejudiced persons, that the Editor of Mr. 
Williams's 2d Kditujn, wouhi tlu.'rein have administered, di.e castii^atiou to 
Mr. M. : that he wcjnid, on ikj account have omitted, hi/ notes, on the 6 or 7 
passanes (at the most, in Mi-.VVilliams's cujjious details) in which Mr.Mawe 
bus expressly iimtrodirted tiny nf tliejintu, stateil by Mr. W. to have vindi- 
cated him (as injustice he niit;ht, oji Tnost of them I believe), and to have 
properly explained Mr. W's excusable mistakes, on the others; such for 
instance, as iln- mijihty fault of sayiii;:,the granite of Strontian was gray, in- 
»tead of rc^.', &C. : it is too evident however to me, that this was not done, 
because -Mr. .Si. and Dr. M,, both entered on the critical examination of Mr. 
W's Work, without sulHcient real, or jinu-licul knowltdiic, of most ot the 
objects on whi' h .Mr. W. had expressly written; and having very similar 
feelini^s and intentions, each to raise their own refiutation and sell their 
Hooks, almost rcj;ardless of the iiijusti.e thereby done, to the memory of 
Mr. W., ur tu ibc c<iu»e uf &cieutilic truth and iuipruvenient. 

H 4 tone 

120 Mr. Williams, and his Annotator Dr, Millar, 

tone of superiority which his Aiinotator, as above mentioned, 
seems to assume, over Mr. W. in his various remarks, scattered 
through the work ; calculatcrl, too evidently, for lessening the 
Reader's estimation for Mr. W's knowledge and performance, 
and e.xalting that of the Aunotator's own Appendix : which should 
have formed a separate publication, and stood on its own ground, 
not on the shoulders of Mr, Williams, as at present. 

I do not wish to be understood herein, as entirely undervaluing 
Dr. M's performance, which certainly presents a very copious 
and usci'ul colhclion vfex/racti, of great part of what has been 
detailed or written by Geological observers, in the Transactions 
of Leanied Societies, and in other works of recent date, with 
many of tiie Doctor's own observations, the whole under such aa 
arrangement, as would have done him credit in a separate publi- 
tion, and been, perhaps, in every way commendable: but in their 
present situation, the great display made, of the technical know- 
ledge of Minerals in geno al {the greater ]jart of which , from their 
scarcity, are quite ummpartant in a practiced point of view, such 
as Mr. Williams professed to take) and the almost entire absence 
of proper illustrations, of the obscurities and defects of Mr.'s text,on the score of technical Mineralogical knowledge, 
which are so oftgn alhided to, have certainly appeared to me, as 
improper, and have done so to many admirers of Mr. Williams's 
work, v.iih whom I am accjuaiutcd. 

It was not until very lately, although frequently inquiring since 
the year 1801, that I could procure a copy of Mr. Williams's first 
Edition, from which, and other circumstances 1 judge, that they 
must be very scarce. On perusing this copy, my opinion of the 
impropriety of Dr. M. as the ajuiotator of Mr. Williams's Work, 
has been considerably strengthened, by observing, that the whole 
of Mr. ll'iUiams's Preface, containing 62 pages of curious and 
important matter, has been su])pressed by Dr. M. ! 

What renders this omission the more questionable in its cha- 
racter, is, that although Dr. ivliilar, like many others of the mo- 
dern partizans in Geology (who are alluded to with just repre- 
hension by one of vonr Corresj)ondents, in the Note in p. 47 of 
your last num!)er) in pp. 560 and 565 of his Appendix, gives the 
outlinesofDr. W?///o?/'5ar.d Mr.lVerner's Theories,and intimates, 
that th.cse, divide the opinions of modern Geologists: yet he says 
not a word, that Mr. Williams, on whom he had ol)truded him- 
self as an Annotator, had examined Dr. Hutton's Theory, when 
recently pul^lished, and after his own work vvas ready for the 
Printer, and inul in the latter 40 pages of his Preface (which 
Dr. M. had suppressed) considered and pointedly refuted, most 
of the leading tenets of this System ! 

If it should be stated in excuse of Dr. M's conduct herein to- 

On Vegetation in artificial Media. 121 

wards Mr, Williams, and towards Geological truth and impar- 
tiality, that his wish was to exclude controversy, and merely 
state facts and opinions, for the reader's own decision ; then it 
should be rejoined, that he ought to have considered, what he 
has denominated chapter 3 of vol. i. (pp. 449 to 467), as 
among the useless " redundancies" of Mr. Williams's Work, be- 
cause expressly employed, in considering and refuting the Theory 
of Count Buffon; in the same manner and on the same princi- 
j)les, as the refutation of Dr. Mutton's Theory, which has thi'.s 
unfairly been kept back. 

Conceiving, sir, that many of your Geological Readers, who 
possess Williams's 2d Edition, would wish to see the suppressed 
Preface to which I have been alluding, circulated.; and preserved 
in your pages, in portions, as room from more important matter 
may allow, I have sent yoii the Preface, and in case you oblige 
me, by its insertion, I propose to send you, occasionally, some 
further particulars, calculaited to set Mr. Williams's labours and 
his work, in favourable points of view ; and am. 

Your obedient servant, 
Aug. 4, 1817. An Enginkei?. 

[The Preface of Mr. Williams, referred to in the preceding 
article, will be given in subsequent Numbers.] — Editor. 

XVIII. On Vegetation in ari'ijicial Media. By ili?-. J. Acton. 

To Mr. TiUoch. 

Sir, — WBSERVIN'G some experiments in your Magazine for 
last month, by Mr. J. Tatum, respecting the effects of vegeta- 
tion on the atmosphere, I beg to call his attention to some 
of my own, made .several years ago, with the view of pointing 
out the analogy between the germination of seeds, the vege- 
tation of plants, and the respiration of animals; as also of ex- 
amining a new theory of the formation of carbonic acid gas in 
peculiar situations by seeds, plants and animals, then lately 
published by Mr. Ellis in a small octavo volume ; and which 
experiments were published in the late Mr. Nicholson's Journal 
for July and October 1S09. Although my subsequent experi- 
ence has not led me to make any alteration in the conclusions to 
which my labours at that time led inc, I cannot help feeling consi- 
dcraljle diifidence with respect to them, from having since been 
compellL(l by many unfortunate circumstances to relinquish in 
a great degree pursuits so interesting and congenial to the 
inquiring mind. I had pledged myself to follow up those 
experiments by others particularly relating to vegetation, more 


122 Oh the Geology of Norlkumberland. 

effectually to have corroborated those already attempted ; and 
which pledge I had the sincerest intention of redeeming, had I 
not found an absolute necessity for directing all the power of 
mv faculties into other less important but more profitable chan- 
nels. But at all events, as there appears to be a disposition evinced 
by Mr. Tatum to pursue these inquiries, I consider it my duty 
to point ont to him what has been already done — not so much 
uiider the ideaof myexperiments being of sufiicieut consequence to 
supersede his investigations, as of their being perhaps worthy to 
be considered as a land-mark by which he may avoid some su- 
perfluous trouble ; and be induced, if he thiidvs proper, to take 
some of the most prominent of mine as points whence to set 
forward on a fresii career. I have not suthcient vanity to be- 
lieve mine of any great consequence ; but as his pursuits in the 
same path appear so nearly allied to those which so greatly en- 
gaged my attention, I trust he will excuse my officionsness for 
thus eagerly endeavouring to arrest his further progress till he 
has condescended to give tlieni a serious perusal. If the greatest 
assidnity and accuracy may entitle them to notice, 1 feel con- 
scious no pains were spared in these ])articulars ; I only lament tbe 
occurrence of those untoward events which induced me to relin- 
quish their further progress, and I shall experitMice no small gra- 
tification if they shall ultimately be found of sufficient conse- 
quence to facilitate and shorten the labours of others wishing to 
analyse and throw light upon similar subjects. 

A friend of mine has lately presented me with two specimens 
cf calcareous matter, taken from the bladders of two of his 
horses after they had died from disease, — one weighing nearly 
ten pounds, in an irregular form, — the other weighing about tea 
pounds and a quarter, of a conic form. As soon as 1 can pos- 
sibly find time for their minute examination, it is my intention to 
send you the particulars. 

I am, sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 
Ipnvich, Aug. 6, 1817. ^ J. AcTON. 

XIX. 071 the Geology of Northumberland. By N. J. Winch, 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

S^R, — In a memoir on the geology of Northumberland, Dur- 
ham, &c. published in the fourth volume of the Annals of Phi- 
losophy, Dr. Thomson makes the following observation : — " In 
the preceding rapid sketch I have taken no notice of small 
patches of the newest Jloetz- trap which occur towards the north- 

On the Geology of Northumberland. 123 

cast parts of Northumberland. I examined several of these 
places about four years ai^o, and found them to consist of green- 
stone rocks see}iii/iglt/ depoftilcd above the indefjeTident coal for- 
mation. This is the case with the rock on which the castle 
stands in Holy Island. The basis of this island is limestone. 
The same thiiig occurs at Bamborough Castle, and in several 
hills in the neigh!>ourhood of Belford. These facts may have 
some interest to the geologist, though I did not cojisider them 
of sufficient importance to interrupt t!ie general view of the 
structure of these counties wiiich I have now given." 

Though it may appear presumptuous to differ from so able a 
geologist; yet I am led to think that had Dr. Thomson investi- 
gated the rocks at Dunstanborough Castle, at Gunwarden near 
Barwesford on North Tyne, but especially at Wratchiff Crag 
near Alnwick, tiie stratilication exhibited at these })laces would 
have induced him to draw a different conclusion; for there he 
would have seen the basalt alternate with the rocks of which the 
.whole district is composed. 

At Dunstanl)orough the cliffs consist of 

1. Columnar basalt . . . . S to 10 feet. 

2. Sandstone 2 feet. 

3. Shale (slate clay) . . . . 6 feet. 

4. Basalt to below the water's edge. 

At Gunwarden — strata of dark-blueish-gray crystalline lime- 
stone, from 3 to 4 feet thick, alternate twice with compact ba- 
salt. This limestone contains a c(in--iderable portion of iron; and 
in colour, lustre, and the shape of its fragments, so nearly re- 
sembles basalt as to render it liable to be mistaken for that sub- 
stance, To the lime-biuiier it is of no use. In the neighbour- 
ing rivulet casts of the Mculrepvra Jhxuosa, mineralized l)y flinty 
slate, or more |jro|)erly indtuated slate clav, have been detected. 

But Wratchiff Craii; having lieen (|u;uried of late years to a 
considerable extent, and the different beds of which the hill is con- 
structed laid open to view, strengthens tise opinion that no floetz- 
trap formation exists in Northumberland. The following section, 
accompanied i)v specimens, was communicated to me by a friend 
whose accuracv mv be depended upon. 

1. Compact basalt, impeifectly columnar .. 20 feet. 

2. Indurated slate clav, resemi/liuii porcelain jasper 3 feet. 

3. Encrinal limestone (containing also bivalve "^ 
shells) of a dark- brownish gray colour, glim- > 8 feet, 
niering lustre, and splintery fracture . . . . J 

4. Slaty marl 4 inches. 

5. Crystalline limetone of a light blueish-gray"^ 
colour, glistening lustre, and fine granular > 3 feet, 
texture J 

G. Slatv 

124 On the Study of the Principles of Stratijication. 

6. Slaty marl 4 inches. 

7. Dark blueish -gray limestone, resembling the ^ Sf t 

Guiiwarden limestone ^ 

8. Disintegrated basalt with calcareous spar . . 1 foot. 

J). Compact basalt 4 feet. 

10. JSlaty marl — lowest. 

Dip south-east at an angle of 8 degrees. 

Before closing this letter, it will not be amiss to notice a few 
phenomena nsually accompanying basalt in this part of the 
kingdom, vvhich may in some measure serve to develop its. 
origin. Limestone is often rendered highly crystalline and unfit 
for lime, when in the vicinity of this rock, as is the case of 
No. 5 and No. 7, but not No. 3 of the foregoing section. Slate 
clay is turned into a substance like flinty slate or porcelain jas- 
per, No. 2 ; and coal is invariably charred when in contact with 
it. When basalt occurs in beds, its thickness varies much more 
than that of the rocks between vvhich it is interposed, fojming 
wedge-shaped masses rather than regular strata; and the sand- , 
stone on which it reposes is changed for some depth to a brick- 
red colour : pieces of this description of soft sandstone, taken 
from below the basalt at Bamborough Castle, broke into spheri- 
cal fragments on being immersed in water. 
I remain, sir. 

Your most obedient humble servants, 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, July 20, 1817. N. J. WiNCH. 

XX. On the Advantages that VLay he expected to reshlt, from 
the Study of the Principles of Stratification ; ivith Remarks 
on the proper Objects of Inquiry in this important Branch of 
Geology. By Mr. Thomas Trejdgold. 

"Men have sought to make a World from their own conceptions, and to 
draw from their own minds all rhe materials which they cmploved ; hnt 
if, instead of doing so, they had (.onsulted experience and oi)scivation, 
they would have had facts, and not opinions, to rciison ahiuit, and nii^ht 
have u!tira:itely arrived at the knowledge of the laws vvhich govern the 
material world," — Bacon. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — XN conse(,nence of the discovery of several facts which 
tend to elucidate the principles of stratification, the science of 
Geology has acquired an additional degree of interest and im- 
portance. Geologists have in a great measure abandoned their 
wild and fanciful speculations ; — they have begun to make ob- 
servations, and to register facts respecting the present state of 
the surface of the earth,' — and instead of inventing hypothetical 


On the Study of the Principles of Stradfcafion. 125 

solutions of the most apparent phseiiomena of its formation, they 
Jiow attempt to give an acciiiiite description of its structure. 
Such materials, at some future period, will supply a mind like that 
of Newton, with the means of establishing a correct theory; for 
the present state of the earth's snrface, is certainly not suf- 
ficiently well known, to admit of a satisfactory explanation of its 

The knowledi^e of the relative position of the Strata which 
form the external crust of the earth, is one of the most important 
branches of tins inquiry; but to render it more useful, there are 
other oiijccts which .should always be attended to in such re- 

It has been observed, that a stratum does not always consist of 
the same mineral substance throughout its whole extent, — or at 
least that it often presents the same mineral elements in very diffe- 
rent combinations and states; therefore, in a complete description 
of each stratum, all its principal variations of position, cf thickness, 
.of extent and situation of exposed surface, and of mineral character 
should be accuratelv described. The petrifactions and shells it 
contains should be ascertained; and of those that are peculiar to 
it, correct descriptions shouid be given ; — the uses to which its 
minerals are aj)plied should be noticed, and the probability of 
obtaining them in other situations, pointed out ; — the nature and 
qualities of the soil on its exposed surface should be described, 
and tl'.e best means of ameliorating or improving it, suggested. 
The uses of such information — to the owner of landed property — 
to the miner — the agriculturist — the engineer — the architect — 
the manufacturer; and, indeed, to every branch of civilized so- 
ciety, are too self-evident to need detail, and of too multifarious a 
nature to admit of it here. They only require to be known, to 
be fully appreciated. 

In this as in other descriptive branche.-? of natural history, a 
concise of expressing the leading characters of each stra- 
tum, will be necessary, by which they may be described with 
brevity, accuracy, and precision; as by that means the labour cf 
comparing the facts of different observers will be materially 
abridged, as well as that of describing them. To accomplish 
this, it may l>e necessary to introduce some appropriate terms — 
for all those which refer to hypothetical notions respecting the 
mode of formation, should be carefully avoided; — the use of 
hypothesis is unquestionable, but its verv nature renders its lan- 
guage unfit for descriptive purposes. Hypothesis may guide us 
in our inquiries, and give a tenfold degree of interest to our re- 
•carches ; but still it must rather be considered the instrument, 
than the end of our labours. To a candid inquirer after truth, 
the danger of clothing his descriptions of natural phiunoinei^a 

i in 

126 On the Stridi/ of (lie Principles of Slralijicnlioiu 

iu the language of hypothesis, imisit be very evident ; and the? 
more so, when he ooiisiders the narrow views on which hypotheses 
must be formed, in the present state of geok)gical science. 

It may be diliicult to form a regular and general principle of 
classification, independent of some hypothesis respecting the for- 
mation of tlie strata J — a diliicuitv perhaps to be removed, only 
by more complete information respecting tlie stratification of 
other parts of the globe: liowever, as far as relates to this island, 
the strata might be arranged, according to the order in which 
they follow one another, beginning at the highest in the series. 
No dou'ot mistakes will sometimes occur, in assigning each stra- 
timi its proper place in the series, but in tbe progress of the 
science, these will be corrected. 

The attention of geologists is earnestly called to this, or to 
some superior arraiigement of the British strata; for were such 
an arrangement once made, and a proper and scientific method 
of describing the pliienomeua adopted — the number of observers 
would soon increase, and the knowledge of this important branch 
of geology would make ra])id advances towards periection. 

The landed proj)rietor will soon find it as much his interest, to 
know the nature of the strata that form his estate, as to know 
the number of acres it contains, and a correct miner.';! survey of 
his property, will form an useful and valuable a[ipendage to the 
plan of his esstate. And in thus ascertaining the value of his own 
property, he v>ull iiave an opportunity of forwarding the progress 
of science, by r.dding the result of his inquiries to the common 
stock ; — every mine that he opens, every shaft that he sinks, will' 
either add additional facts or confirm those already known — even 
it) digging a well, something worthy of note may be observed. 
And should he previously have made himself acquainted with \\\i 
principles of stratification, he would then have the pleasure of 
anticipating the general results, while the progress of the work 
would enable him to asccrt;un the accidental variations which 
tVequcntiy occur. 

But if the study of stratification afford pleasure and useful in- 
formation to the settled individual ; how much more must it af- 
ford to the well-informed traveller ! — He will no longer need to 
confine himself to hasty notices of those geological subjects only, 
that are apparent to the most careless observer — a wider field 
will oj)en before ",iim, and the structure and mineral production 
of the country will form one of the most interesting objects of 
his research. Other travellers have noticed such mineral pro- 
ductions only, as were in use, or plentifiiUy scattered over the face 
of the countries they have ])assed through; but the traveller who 
knows the nature and principles of stratification will be able, not 
only to give more satisfactory information respecting the^minerals 


On the Shnhj of f fie Priiiciptes of Strati ficathn. 127 

alreadv knowTi, but also to tlisplny the apparently hidden re- 
sources of other countries, and to iiirnish those data, whicli the 
extended views of modern science have rend-^red necessary. 

As tiic labour of 2,ainiug anv new source of knowledge never 
falls to bring with it its own reward, bv a proportional increase 
i)f the sources of pleasure, I hope an attempt to bring that of 
the principles of stratification into more general notice, may not 
be witliout effect. It is a l)ranch of knowledge, which, on ac- 
count of its usehd nature, is perhaps better calculated to become 
popular, than any other. In proof of the truth of this remark 
it is onlv necessary to sav, that it includes the principles of the 
important art of draining land: — that from it the probability of 
obtaining certain minerals in certain situations may be inferred 
from the nature of the superior strata, without the expensive 
process of boring; — it is calculated to check the delusive 
mining projects, whicli have ruined thousands, and at the same 
time to encourage those which are likely to be attended with 
success; that it also points out the best methods of working 
new mines, as well as the most effectual means of extending old 
ones, with security and profit. I am, sir, yours, &c.&c. 

Lonrioii, August 11, 1817. ThoMAS TrEDGOLD. 

P.S. As the recommendation of any particular branch of science 
mav seem imperfect, witliout saying something on the means of 
obtaining it, I have subjoined the following list of works on the 
subject of stratification. Perhaps some of your correspondents 
may think ])roper to extend it, with critical notices on the com- 
parative merits of tiie writers. 

Mr. Wm. Smith's Mineralogical Map of England and Wales: 
and several numbers of the works he is now publishing, to 
explain it. -r 

Mr. Farcy's Derbyshire Report. 
Mr. Bakewell's Introduction to Geology, 2d edition. 
The articles " Coal" and " Stratification" in Dr.Rees's New 

Mr. Sowcrbv's Mineral Conchology, 
Williams's Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom. — And 

several valuable facts are collected, in 
Mr. Whitehurst's Inquiry into the Original State and Forma- 
tion of the Earth. 
Mr. \^^ Forster's Treatise on a Section of the Strata. New- 
castle. 1809. 
The Transactions of the Geological Society. 
The 25th and following volumes of the Philosophical Maga- 
zine, &c. &c. and The Monthly Magazine. T. T. 

XXI. On 

[ 128 ] 

XXI. On the iVorh entitled " Chromatics f^ or, An Essay on 
the Analogy and Harmony of Colours. By Mr. T. Har- 


To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — Jn your last Niiml,er yon mentioned the publication of 
'* An Essay on the Analogy and Harnionv of Colours." On 
turning- over a copy of it, wiiich I have now by me, I remark, 
that not only are the colourerl diagrams incorrect, but that they 
are at variance with the observations wliicli accompanv them. 
in pointing out this incorrectness, it is not my intention to de- 
preciate the work, but to give, the author an opportunity in a 
future edition of rendering it more perfect, should he consider 
ipy remarks deserving of his notice. Mv objection lies against 
ttin.t part of his work in v.-hich he treats on the particular rela- 
tions of colours. His first examjjle of the white, black, and 
gray is correct ; and in the secon.d, I merely object to the co- 
lours employed for sliowing the three primaries, as not precisely 
giving the toiies required: — the ultramarine inclines rather to 
purple; the Indian yellow to orange; and the red in its darker 
shade to orange. But perhaps these colours have been adopted 
for their durability. 

My principal objection is against the compound or derivative 
tints, given inidcr the denominations of secondiiries and tertiarics. 
But before 1 proceed, it mav be proper to transcribe two or three 
passages from the work, which are in tliemselves perhaps unob- 
jectionable, but with which the examples given are at variance. 
. In section S he says: " By the union of these three positive 
colours (red, yellow and blue) in due subordination, they are 
neutrali;ied," &c. In section 24 " Perfect neuirdlily depends^ 
however, vpon a due suhord'uialion of the pnmnry colours in 
which line predom'mates in proportion to the depth of the com- 
/•pound, and yellow is sulord/nale to red," &c. Again, in sec- 
tion 21, "As the neutralization or negation of a.lours depends 
upon the reunion of the three primaries, it is evident that eacit 
of the primary colours /'« neutralized by that secondary which is 
compr-sed of the two other primaries, alternately; thus, hlup is 
neutralized or extinguished by orange, red by green, and yellow 
by purple.'" 

Considering all this as correct, and examining the coloured 
examples of the secondaries and tertiaries, with reference to 
these prinr-iples, they vvill be found to vary considerably. 

In the first place, the secondary or intermediate colour of 
purple, ought to be such a comljination of red and blue, in which 
the blue should predominate, as when combined with yellow 
should become completely neutralized. But on looking at the 


On Ike Work entitled "^ Chromatics." 129 

Ex.imple No. 3, we find It besides being very inferior in bril- 
liancy to either tlie red or the bhsc, considerably inclined to the 
•red; so that it seems composed of red and a little blue, and 
rather neutralized i)y yellow or l)!ack. By adding yellow, there- 
fore, it would not become completely neutralized, but inciiiic to 
one or other of the tertiaries. 

The orange likewi'^e should be a compound of red and yellow, in 
«hich the red should predominate ; but in Example 4, it is found 
(assuredly of the colour usually culled orange) considerably too 
much inclined to the yellow; so that the third primary blue, in- 
stead of neutralizing, would convert it into an olive or broken 
green . 

The other secondary colour, green, in Example 5, is nearly 
correct, except that it is rather inferior in brilliancy to either 
the blue or the yellow, 

I come now to the tertiaries, by which are meant a combina- 
tion of two secondaries, so as to produce a colour in which all 
the three primaries are united. By this combination it is evident 
that an extensive variety of tones may be produced, according 
to the different proportions of the two secondaries employed. 
But the author means to select such an union of two secondaries, 
as sliall produce an exact broken colour of that primary which 
•enters into the combination of both the secondaries. Thus the 
tertiary produced by purf'le and green is required to be of a 
■broken or p.-.rtlv neutralized blue ; which will of course, as im- 
plied in Section 22, i)e completely neutralized l)y orange. But 
on referring to Example (>, we find that the author lias produced 
an olive, a colour in which greenish-yellow predominates; which 
tnight be expected from t-lie incorrectness in the tone of the pur- 
ple not allowing a sufficient (pumtity of it to be used for giving 
the tint reciuired. This olive instead of being neutralized by 
the orange would change into broken yellow. Here of course 
-the error i** not confined to the coloured example, but the name 
adopted shows the author himself to he in error. The other 
two tertiaries are likewise incorrect,— ^the citrine being rather too 
much inclined to orange ; and tire russet is more a broken 
orange, tlian the partly neutr ilized red which it ought to be. 
Tlie remaining examples are, of course, infected with the same 
errors, as being composed of the tints and colours already de- 

I do not at present enter into any consideration of the au- 
thor's ideas on the harmony of cohuus, as I have not yet found 
leisure to understand and consider them. But as I was struck 
with his adoption of the df)ul>ie triangle for the purpose of illusr- 
tration, and the general agreement of his ideas on colours with 
jnv own, as inserted in your Number for March 1S17, I was 

"Vol.SU. No.232. y/HL'HiMS17. I tempted 

130 Nolices respecling Neiv Books. 

tempted to examine that part of his work ; the result of wliiclt 
examination I here send you ; and if you consider it, as I do, of 
some importance to art, I doubt not of your admitting it to a 
place in your valuable publication. 

I am, sir, yours, &c. 
Liverpool, Aug. ](j, 181 r. ThoMAS HaRGREAVES. 

XXII. Notices respecting Neiv Books. 

An Tnqninj ivto the progressive Colonization of the Earth, and 
the Origin, of Nations ; illustrated ly a Map of the Gen- 
graphij of Ecclesiaslical and Avcient Civil History. By 
T. Hemixg, of Magdalen Hall, Oxon. 

{Concluded from p, 7 '2. J 

1 HE proo-ress which we have made already assures us that 
there are mountains so situated as Moses hath pointed out to us 
— that these mountains appear to join the popular Ararat of 
Armenia, or the Goidian mountains — that there are traditionary 
reports of tlic ark having lodged upon the mountains of Ariana, 
which are a part of the same tract — that there arc, about those 
paits, names which appear to have generated from Ararat, 
Gordus, and Cardu — ill wliich considerations, though thev havs 
a tendency to conlirm the declaration of Moses, would be very 
much too flimsy and iiisuilicient, without some additional strength. 

" There are some evidences of the early population of these 
parts, which may he mentioned as correlative aiguments in fa- 
vour of tiie genera! question. Megasthenes relates, that the old 
.inhai>itants of India were (iivided into 122 natiiiis, all originally 
descended from the sons of Noah, before their journey to the 
valley of Sliinar. 

" Nearly 2000 years before the Christian era, Semiramis in- 
vaded these eastern settlements with an army of above 4,000,000^ 
if Ctesias and Diodorus do not exaggerate (though we can hardly 
suppose they do not). Slaurobates, the Indian general who 
we are told met this enormous force, had, they say, an army 
equally numerous, and obtained a complete victory over Semi- 
ramis, who was slain in the fight. Deduct whatever may be 
necessary to reduce these armies to credible numbers, and then 
the population of each of these adjacent countries must have 
been, beyond a doubt, exceedingly great — probably, and almost 
certainly, greater, at this early period, than any other contem- 
porary nations of the whole earth. 

" It is probable, that had Armenia been the point of disem- 
bafkation, the adventurers would have reached Shinar m much 


Notices respecting New Babks. 131 

less than a coiituiy; as the routes along the Tigris and Euphrates 
are so accessible and easy: and on the other hand, the distance 
from the east of Persia, and the time of arrival at Shinar, seem to 
be much more proportionnte than those of Shinar and Armenia. 

^' It is improl)ahle that the fertile plain of Jordan would have 
heen destitute of proprietors for so long a time as 450 years after 
the Hood, if the ark had settled so contiguously as the Gordiaii 
mountains; v.'hence, the descent to Jordan would have been so 
facile and convenient; and we find (Gen. xiii. 1 1) that the whole 
of this fine country was open to the choice of Lot, who took 
possession of it vvithout opposition: and here may the rapid 
progress of population be particularly instanced ; for in a few 
centuries afterwards, this became the most populous district that 
the earth ever contained. 

" It is probable, that if Armenia had been the focal point, Eu- 
rope would have been colonized before India; but it is agreed 
beyond dis])ute,that India was planted much earlier than Europe; 
and it is moreover certain, that the most eastern parts of Europe 
were peopled before the western; which, had the migration been 
from Armenia, would not have been the case. 

" It is probable, had the first post-diluvian progress been made 
from Armenia, that Syria and Asia Minor would have become 
famous settlements before Egvpt ; because, from their contiguity, 
they could not fail of i)eing soon discovered ; and their inviting 
aspects, both with regard to climate and fertility, would certainly 
have insured the sojournment of v/luitever colonies chanced to 
come towards them — but it is certain tiiat Egypt was overspread 
with inhabitants long before Syria or Asia i\iinor; and it is 
therefore probable, that the first Egyptian colony proceeded 
coastwise from the Indus; whereas, had it passed from Armenia, 
it would most likely have gone through some part of Syria, aiul 
tvould, of course, have occupied it in the way to Egypt; which 
was not the case. 

" Although neither the perilous arduitie'^, of mountains, nor 
the terrilile menaces of oceans, were insuperable and daunting 
to the daring enterprisers ; yet the even valleys and less rugged 
tracks of rivers were most readily pervaded: and if we search 
the surface of the whole globe, no spot seems to distribute so 
many streams as that i)art of ancient Asia, whence they issue on 
hoth sides of the nvountains I'lum Herat to Gaur, and run in all 
directions towards the north and towards the south. 

" This sublime tract of heights, though in themselves steadfast 
and durable as time itself, have, as every latter circumstance 
rolled on and involved its forerunner, fluctuated in name with the 
euccessive changes. By Mcgasthenes, Straiio, and Pliny, they 
•are called Paropamisus, from the ancient Persian province of 

I 2 that 

t32 Notices respcci'mg New Books. 

tliHt iiiinie. By Cliuerius nnH Mela thev are termed Taurir*, 
from their being Mipposed to be a coritimialion of that Jiionntaiii 
— by yVristotle and Quiiitus Curtius tbev are called Caucasus — bv 
Pliny, Cellarius, and Ptolemy, thev are mentioned bv the name 
of the Ilyrcanii Montcs, tVoni their passing thiongh the country of 
Hyrcania — by Arriau they arc designated as INIons Matieni — bv 
others they are since called Himniajeh and Hindoo Koh ; but 
we know that none of these is a genuifie name ; indeed, thev are 
partial only, and such as have accidentalivi)een applied to tiiem; 
as we leain from many of the Greek authors. But are we not 
to suppose that these important mountains, before anv Grecian 
had existence, were denoted by some name ? And is it not i)ro- 
bable that ihey were known to the predecessors of Moses bv the 
general title of Ararat? Or, may we not justifv tlse prcsumptinn, 
that Moses, from an intimate knowledge of tiieir character and 
conse([iTei',ce, endued them with the appellation of the Mountains 
of Ari'.rat ? 

" Hareius denominates the whole range from the Euphrates 
to the Ganges ' the Monies Araratis.' 

" Dr. fleylin condemns the opinion of the aik having rested 
in Armenia, and supposes it more likelv to have remained on 
some part of the Imaus mountains in India, 'which are somewhat 
further north-c.stward from the sjiot which we propose to con- 
sider as the place of disembarkation. 

" Dr. Stukely, who has investigated the subject with the sa- 
gacity of a philosopher and the discrimination of a critic, con- 
cludes the seat of the ark, after the flood, to have been rather 
westward of the head of the Indus, and about the );oint of each 
longitude to which the map of scriptin-al and cla^-iuil geography 

" Vv'e might add numerous other conjectures of tb.e same kind; 
'but the testimony of one commentator who has patience to sift, 
judgenjent to discern, and impartiality to decide, is of more 
weli^ht and value than a cordon of those who copv one another's 
errors : and as the purj)osc of this debate will require but fev/ 
more corroborations and arguments, we shall, after advancing 
one or two otliers which possess, in our opinion, the most con- 
sequence, bring th.e (juestion to an issue. 

*' If we search to discover them, there mav generally he dis- 
cerned some extraordinary signs of divine omniscience and con- 
trivance in every act of the Almighty Master ; and it is no less 
than marvellous, that the grand streams of the Indus, Oxus, 
Jaxartes, with some branches of the Ganges, and a great many 
other rivers, derive their sources from about the central district 
of the three principal divisions of the earth, and which is in that 
part of ancient Aria, or Ariana, where we propose to consider 


Nbtkes respecting New Books, 133 

tliat the remnant of the wreck of human nature first released 
themselves from the fabric which had saved them from the uni- 
versal catastrophe. This situation jierfectly accords with the 
point to which Moses has referred us; and seems to have other- 
wise more probabilities in its favoiu- than any other position 
which we have seen laid down. 

" It is not here intended to be insisted, that probability ought 
to be received as proof : but problems of history so intricate and 
inexplical)le as the present, cannot i)e solved according to the 
principle of ir.atheiiiatical domonstration: proceeding tlien from 
probability to probability is the only way of getting towards the 
fact ; and wliere numerous probabilities covroI)orate and support 
one another, they are, or ought to he, esteemed almost tanta- 
mount to physical truth. 

*' It must be recollected, that the principal object to be es- 
tablished from the present inijuiry is, that some position, con- 
sistent with the express asseveration of Moses, be considered as 
the reNtin!^-])lace of tlie ark : and that the point to l)e assigned 
must have a much greater eastern longitude than any part of 
Armenia; oth-^rwise it will be contradictorv rather than con- 
formai)Ie to what Moses has so unconditionally and uBecjuivo- 
cally declared. 

" That part of the ancient Persian province of Aria, extending 
from modern Herat, or Harat, to the country of the Gaurs, or 
according to the orthography of some, the Giaours, along the 
tract of heigiits called Hindoo Koh, is the place to which the 
investigation seems to lead, as having, according to numerous 
probabilities and circumstances, most likely been the receptacle 
of the ark, after the secession of the waters from the face of the 
earth : — Ijut l)efore we entreat the suffrage of our readers to this 
opinion, we will abstract and arrange, in a brief form, some of 
the chiefest motives which have contributed to the preference. 

" First — Moses declared in perspicuous terms, that ' the ark 
rested on the Mountains of Ararat,' and that the emigrants 
'journeyed //07« t/ie east till thev came to the Plains of fShinar' 
— therefore, finding, as vvc do, that the mountains of ancient 
Aria in Persia are, though at a great distance, cotmected with 
those of Armenia, and that they are relatively situated with re- 
gard to Sliinar, as stated in the Scripture ; these were motives 
which, in some degree, influenced the inducement to propose 
them as the proI)able place where the ark rested after the flood. 

" Secondly — It is not to be imagined that the emigrants pro- 
ceeded in one direct and uninterrupted progress from Ararat to 
Shinar ; yet may some idea of the relative distance between 
these places be formed by the portion of time which the 
journey consumed. Aria is not objectionable on account ot its 
1 3 distance 

134 Notices respecting New Books. 

distance from or contiguity to Shinar, and the migration from 
one to the other may verv readily be supposed to have required 
as much time as the Scripture signifies — this apparent propor- 
tion of tlie time and distance was anotlier motive that biassed 
the proposal. 

*' Thirdly — Some very judicious inquirers on the sfinie subject, 
are decidedly of opinion that the ark rested somewhere alone; this 
tract of mountains towards Tartary or India; and their not having 
all consented to one spot is no derogation to the main point ; for 
they all propose a site eastward of Shinar, and tlierefore do not 
deviate from the Mosaic te\t. Along this vast ridge, to which 
' all ascribe the memorable event, we, for the foregoing- and other 
reasons, consider Aria to be the most probable point ; and as 
this opinion is not incompatible with tliat of Ilareiiis, Ortelins, 
Drs. Stukely and Heylin, Shuckford, Wilson, and other eminent 
authorities, v.-e have, with greater confidence, been induced to 
propose it. 

" Fourthly — From not having been ai)le to discover any other 
primitive name of these mountains, it is conceived that Ararat 
ought not to be considered as a term appropriated to any parti- 
cular part, but to have been much more extensively applied than 
has been generally imagined ; and from the many names attached 
to places and things, in the vicinity of Aria, that appear to have 
some affinity to the word Ararat, additional instances in favour 
of the proposal have also been deduced. 

" Fifthly — This Persian district includes the central point of 
the three grand divisions of the earth — that is to say, of Europe, 
Asia, and Africa — which, considered as so regarded in the om- 
niscience of Providence, and thereby suited for promoting in 
somewise the great schenie, was also additional weight to the 
reasons for the proposal. 

" Sixthly — From its seeming compatible with the incompre- 
hensible wisdom and oeconomv of the Supreme to afford facility 
at the outset to the 'overspreading of the earth,' and as the 
courses of rivers are most free from impediments, and supply one 
of the most essential articles of hun\an subsistence, it is natural 
to suppose that the itinerant corps would take their routes along 
the tracks of currents; and from tlie multiplicity of these which 
are distributed northward and southward from the central accli- 
vities of Aria, in a manner not to be found in any other region 
of the earth, it was a consideration that powerfully augmented 
the force of the other motives which induced the proposal. 

" Seventhly — Herack, Yerac, or Irac Agemi, signifying the 
country of the mountains, is southward of the Caspian Sea, about 
ancient Hyrcania. No part westward of this can be adopted as 
the place where the ark rested, because the Scripture objects to 

Notices respecting New Books. 135 

k: any where more eastward along the same ridge may, because 
the Scripture allows it. To say that the ark rested in Armenia 
is therefore dissonant to the prescript of Moses, unless Armenia 
in immemorial ages extended to Hyrcania, which is not alto- 
gether inipro!)able; — but it is much more likely that Ararat was 
of this, and even much greater extent, before it became con- 
founded with Armenia; and the identity of these two places, 
which ou^ht to be distinct, has been very perplexing, deceptive, 
and injiuious. — Tenacious, therefore, of a perfect faith in Moses 
and his interpreters, we must reject altogether tlie pretension of 
the ark having rested northward of Shinar, and adopt the more 
congruous proposition of the extension of Ararat beyond Aria, 
because there are many reasons to authorize it, and no substan- 
tial objection seemingly to the proposal''. 

" Lastly— The tradition mentioned by Wilson, in his 'Asia- 
tic Researches,' of the ark having lodged ujjon Aryavart may be 
added, because it is perfectly consonant to Scripture, and be- 
cause it is of as much consequence as a tradition can possibly be, 
on account of its derivation from an indigenous source; whereas 
every tradition relative to Armenia is from the report of aliens, 
who were unacquainted with the territory for full 1700 years 
after the event thev jjresvuue to recount had taken place. 

" Having now summed up the main arguments which have been 
brought forward in this intricate inquiry; and which, whether 
scriptural, theological, physical, geographical, etymological, testi- 
monial, or traditional, have all one uniform tendency — and are 
deemed, altogether, sufficiently cogent to authorize the conclu- 
sion, that the country of ancient Aria, in the east of Persia, com- 
prehends that part of the mountaiirs of Ararat where the ark 
rested after the great deluge, when Noah and his three sons, with 
their wives, were all the remnant that survived to repropagate 
mankind, we shall therefore hereafter consider ourselves warranted 
in alluding to this as the focal point whence the whole earth has 
ireen overspread with all the varieties that have existed, since 
the deluge, of the human race." 

In the third chapter the author treats " of the dispersion 
aird several settlements of the descendants of Noah, whom we 
find enumerated in the book of Genesis." The fourth, which 
concludes the work, is entitled " Considerations on the time of 

* " M:iy not Ararat and Aria, also Aracliosia, Arasacia, &c. hnve been 
named to mfjinoraliy.c stttlcments of the descendants of .Terah, the son of 
JoktMi) fcallc'd liy the Arahs Aia/i. or Ya7-ah),ns Moses inf'orn)s lis diat the 
Joktanitts were stationed from Mesha (sigiiifyinj; a desert) to Sephar, a 
uiount of the Kast, which Wells phices in Persia: and Eustathius, Hierony- 
iiius, &c. derive the Bactrians, Hyrcanians, Carauianians, Scythians, &c. 
fi'jtii the aons of Joktan. 

1 4 the 

136 Koikes respecting New Bodks. 

the general dispersion, and the number of persons that had ariseiiv. 
— The confounding of language.— Genealogy of the Hebrew and 
Greek bibles examined.— Original nations founded sn.hsequent 
to the first dispersion. — The earliest nations of whom there are 
written documents; and the results and connexions relative to> 
them which may be derived from the foregoing sketelies." 

Mr. Healing's valuable map, which should have a place in 
every lihrary, will be found a most useful auxiliary to all students, 
of the Get)graphy of Sacred and Ancient Historyl 

An Esmy on the Nature of Heal, Ugh', avd ElectricUy. Bij Carpenter Boaivass, Barrister al Laiv. 8vo, 

276 pp. 

This is a work of unconunon merit, and wilU we are confident, 
be well received by those whose minds have been properly disci- 
plined l)y the strict laws of the inductive philosophy. The author 
in his preface apologizes for offering an essav on a branch of 
natural philosophy, unsupported by experiments of his own : 
but we think the chances are at least equal, that he would not 
have produced a more useful work, had he had experiments of 
his own to detail, and the results to explain. He has done bet- 
ter iu founding his observations on the labours which others, " in 
return for t lie honours so justly paid them, have surrendered foF 
public use ;" — for, had he oifeied new experiments and new re- 
sults, the attention of the reader (if not his own) would have been 
diverted from the main object of the essay; or at least divided, 
and the author woidd have produced less effect. 

Tlie work is divided into chapters, and these into sections, 
Cliap. I. On thk Natuue of Heat. § 1. On the ?vlateriality 
of the Cause of Heat. § 2. On Attraction for Caloric, Latent 
Heat,and Evaporation. § o. On the Conmnmication of Caloric. 
§ 4. On the Reflection of Caloric. § 5. On the supposed Re- 
jiulsion between the Particles of Caloric— and the Elasticity of 
Gases. § 6. On the Nature of the Attraction for Caloric. — 
Chap. H.' On the Nature of Light. § I. On the Mutual 
Relations of Light and Caloric. § 2. On the Reflection of 
Light— and Visibility of Bodies. § 3. On the Component Parts 
of Light— and the Causes of Colour. Chap. U\. Ox Electri- 
city. § 1 . On the Formation of the different Kinds of Electri- 
city. § 2. On the Nature of Electrical Attraction. § 3. On 
the Franklinian Hyprthesis* § 4. On the Combination of the 
Two Kinds of Electricity, and the Identity of the Compound 
Ethereal Fluid with Caloric and Light. 

It would not be justice to the author to offer an analysis of a 
work which is wholly argumentative: we shall therefore' confine 
ourselves chiefly to a statement of some of his conclusions : 

" Caloric 

Notices respecting New Books, 137 

*'CalorIc (for the reasonsadduced) is certainlvcontained in every 
body but the coldest, and. no one will hesitate to conclude from 
analogy, in that also. If tlien there be in all bodies an invisible 
imponderable fluid or substance, capable of producing all the 
phaenoniena of heat, it is surely unphilosophical to seek for any 
other cause of it, where this exists." The author therefore as- 
sumes that tiiis matter is the only source of heat. He employs 
the name commonly used, "calorie," but '^ without any intention 
to express an opinion that it is a simple substance." — " If caloric 
be matter, it possesses inertia; and cnnsequent!v,when once with- 
out motion, unless acted on bv some other body, it would re- 
main for ever at rest." — " The only powers bv which matter 
unaided can act upon matter, are attraction and repulsion."— 
Opposite powers in similar bodies where one is sufficient are re- 
jected in sound philosophy; — 'but we cheat ourselves with terms. 
What is •' radiation" hut another name for " repulsion?"--— "The 
law is universal, that all bodies attract caloric — but the degree in 
which they attract it is diiierent in different circimistances." — 
" That which has been called latent heat is only the effect of 
an increased exertion of the attraction for caloric, produced by 
the modifications of the attraction of cohesion." 

For the reasons stated l)v the author, " caloric must necessarily 
be imponderable. " — Though the passage of caloric is produced 
simply by attraction, the phaenomena are modified by circum- 
stances. " Motion is given to caloric at its issuing from the 
heated body. But the attracting power continues tq operate on 
the caloric as it proceeds, and with a force increasing as it ap- 
proaches the attracting body; consequently the motion is con- 
tinually and increasingly accelerated. Tiie ray strikes therefore 
upon the attracting hodv, with a force greater than the then 
acting atti action, by the sum of the force of all the attraction 
preceding. Suppose the body attracting the caloric to be per- 
fectly hard and impenetrable, and tlie ray would rebound or 
he reBected ; the then exerted attraction which alone would tend 
to continue it in contact, being so evidentlv less than the force 
of the attraction accumulated through its whole progress. Al- 
tliough no body is impenetrable to caloric, it is generally ad- 
mitted that the particles of everv body are so. All the caloric 
therefore, which should not pass between the particles, but strike 
immediately on them, would Ije reflected as though it impinged 
on a body perfectly hard and impenetrable. Accordingly, it is 
foimd by experiment, that a very large portion of caloric is re- 
flected from some bodies to which it is attracted. Metals par- 
ticularly, attract caloric with considerable force, in proportion to 
tlieir volume ; but when highly polished, a very small pai:t is able 


138 Notices respecting New Books. 

to penetrate them. Suppose then a plate of polished metal, to 
attract caloric from a distant object. The particles of caloric 
will strike u))on its surface, but the j^reater part will be unable 
to enter it- That part of the ray of caloric therefore, which 
cannot penetrate, impinging ujjou the polished metal with a 
force greater than the attraction at the surface, and its elasticity 
being perfect, it will rebound or be reflected, with a force equal 
to the excess ; the attraction acting upon it on its return, with 
a continually decreasing, retarding |)Ovver. If, however, another 
body i)e placed so as to exercise its attraction in the course of 
the reflected ray, the retarding attraction will be opposed by the 
force of that attraction, and the course of the returned rav will 
be continued. If the lieated body be placed in the focus of a 
concave metallic mirror, the caloric would be attracted by it, 
and almost the whole quantitv attracted, would be reflected from, 
its polished surface in parallel lines. The metal, however, does 
not act with an e<|nally retarding attraction upon the ray of ca- 
loric, because a concave mirror will always attract with the 
greater power, objects in the line of its focus. This will be very 
evident, if that ray be considered, which impinges upon the ex- 
treme circumference of the mirror, when it will be perceived, 
that on its return, at the same distance from the part on which 
it struck, it will be much less under the influence of the attrac- 
tion of the mirror, than iu the heated body situated in the focus. 
This difference of attraction must have a very considerable 
effect ; for a small force will convey a ray of caloric to a great 
distance, as may be easily imagined from its usual wonderfully 
rapid motion. And if a small direct force be suPncient, a small 
excess over a counteracting force is etiually effectual. If the 
retarding attraction therefore, of the first mirror, with all its op- 
posing circumstances, he but in a small degree less than its ac- 
celerating attraction, caloric may be conveyed to a considerable 
distance. But the small force with which the caloric passes 
from the mirror, beyond the distance of the heated body, being 
only the excess of the direct over the retarding attraction, does 
not lessen the quantitv, in the same degree, as it would if it 
arose from a small power of attraction. The ([uantity passing 
is that which is attracted by the mirror from the heated body, 
with the deduction of that quantity which the mirror itself re- 
tains, and that ^v'hich will be retained by the attraction of the 
atmosphere, and other such circumstances. If a second mirror 
be then placed opposite to the first at a moderate distance, the 
rays will impinge upon it, and most of them be reflected to its 
focus. The second mirror will not only reflect the rays which 
strike upon it, it will also assist their progress by its own attrac- 


Notices respecting New Books. 139 

tion for tliem ; and if its attraction should be great, it would 
affect that of the first mirror. If, for instance, a piece of ice be 
placed in the focus of the second mirror, the ice will rapidly 
al;sorb the rays of caloric, and attract the caloric from its sur- 
face. Tliis will increase the attraction of that mirror, and con- 
sequently increase the rapidity, and the force of the whole pro- 
cess. The surface of the first mirror will have its attraction 
increased, and the temperature of the heated body will more 
rapidly fall. The effect of a single mirror in reflecting caloric, 
passing from a body placed opposite to it, at a moderate distance, 
may be exijlaiiied upon the same principles. The caloric in that 
instance would be simply attracted bv the mirror, and reflected 
directly to its focus, and would raise a thermometer placed there, 
with a power greater than without the mirror, in proportion to 
the concentration of the rays. The same laws which exist in 
other cases in the attraction of caloric from body to body, re- 
gulate its conveyance in these cases from the heated body to the 
mirror, between the two mirrors, and from the second mirror to 
the colder body; — the mirror, only being required to be com- 
posed of a substance which attracts caloric, without readily per- 
mitting its entrance into it." 

The author next examines the supposed repulsion ijetvveen the 
particles of caloric, and the elasticity of gaseous bodies. The 
increase of the volume of bodies by the addition of another sub- 
stance — even if that substance be caloric — is what ought to take 
})lace, and furnishes no proof of tiie existence of repulsion. Caloric 
causes not repulsion in gases, but expansion ; and they obtain' 
or retain the substance which causes this expansion by attrac- 
tion. We have no evidence of the existence of a power of re- 

All solid bodies when raised to a certain temperature become 
luminous. Light is communicated with caloric, and in some 
proportion to it. It must be conveyed cither by some affinity 
which it has for caloric, or all bodies must have an attraction for 
light, in some proporticiU to that which they have for caloric. 
The latter is the more probal)le hypothesis. Bodies are not 
luminous by reflected, but by emitted, liglit; and they emit it in 
conKC(|uence of the attraction of some other body: if emitted 
directly to the eye, " it must probai)ly be by the attraction of 
the eye. Nor is it probable tiiat the quantity of light required 
for vision, can bear more than a very minute proportion, to that 
emitted from a heated body. It is probable therefore, that, what- 
e\'er relation light may have to cahiric when bodies are luminous, 
the light which enters the eye must do so in the same manner 
and be governed by the same laws as the caloric. Piut if light 
be capable of producing expansion, and be attracted, and con- 

140 Notices respecting New Books. 

tained bv all bodies in the same manner and proportions, a* 
caloric, what difference can we state as existing between them, 
except that motion, by which, whenever possessed by caloric, 
bodies are rendered visible ?" 

" Bodies are luminous by light emitted: they are visible by 
light rejected from them." — " If a red-hot l;all be placed in 
the focus of a concave mirror, bot^i the liiiht and the caloric will 
be reflected by the mirror, and may be collected by an opposite 
mirror and again reflected, in the same manner as caloric has 
been before described."—" Bodies are seen by the light which 
they themselves attract." In proof of this — " their colour arises 
from the nature of the light wliich impinoes on them. Thus 
a coloured ray, separated by the prism, or other means, gives its 
own Ime to every oi)ject on which it is thrown. If therefore 
bodies had no influence in regulating the nature of the ray of 
light which should approach them to be reflected to produce vi- 
sion, their colour wt)ui(l always depend upon, and vary with, 
their situation. This, however, is shown by every moment's ob- 
servation not to l)c the fact. The exjjeriments last referred to, 
are directly adverse to the theory suggested by Sir Isaac Newton 
on th6 subject. He supposed, that all the rays that fell upon any 
body might be absorbed, except that part which forn>ed its co- 
lour ; and the reflection of that part of the ray, rather than any 
other, he suggested, miglit arise from the ditference in magnitude 
of the j)articles of light. If this hypothesis were just, a sepa- 
rated coloured rav ought to be wholly absorbed by every body 
not of tiie same colour, instead of giving them a tinge imnatural 
to them. Upon that theory too, no part of a rav of light Could 
be reflected more than once between bodies of ditferent colours ; 
and every kind of body, except that which absorbed tiie smallest 
particles, would reflect, on account of their magnitude, smaller 
particles than those which it received. The division of the solar 
ray, however, by that truly wonderful man, has been the chief 
discovery yet made respecting the nature of light, and the most 
probat>le guide to all others which may be made iu future." 

In the third section of Chap. II. the aim of the author is to 
show that light is a compound ethereal fluid composed of only 
two simple fluids, combined in different proportions according to 
circumstances : and that caloric is another modification of the 
same compound ethereal substance. We cannot convey an ade- 
quate idea of the arguments by which this is enforced, but by in- 
serting it entire, which we shall do as soon as we can make roonj 
for it. 

On Electricity, the conclusion of the author is, that the two 
kinds of electricity which are known by the names of negative 
and positive are, in their contbined state, identically the same 


Noticis respective New Books. . 141 

fluid w'lth raloiic and li^iit: but for the leasoTiing Hy which he 
suDpoits opinion we must refer our readers to the work it- 

Under tiie title " Conclusion," the author proceeds to con- 
sider the " effects of magnetism, which bear so near a resem- 
blance to those of electricity, as to leave Httle doubt that the 
causes must be very simiiar." The explanations offeied, assume 
that there are two ethereal fluids — as in electricity — inferred 
from " incontrovertible experinsent/' 

The following works have just been published: 

The Principles and Application of Imaginary Quantities ; to 
\vhich is added some Observations on Porisms, being the first of 
a Series of original Tracts on various Parts of the Mathematics. 
By Benjamin Gom|>ert7, est]. 

An unlimited Dailv Calendar, serving for every year, before 
and after the Christian sera, both for the old and new styles. By 
J. Garnett. 

A Treatise, containing the results of numerous experiments 
on the preservation of timber from premature decay, and on the 
prevention of the progress of rotteimess, when already com- 
menced in ships and buildings, and their protection from the 
ravages of the ferm'Ke, or white ant; with remarks on the means 
of preserving wooden jetties and bridges from destruction by 
worms. By William Chapman, M.R.I.A. Civil Engineer, &c. 

Mr. Thomas Forster has just published a Sixth Edition of his 
Observations on the Natural History and Brumal Retreat of the 
Swallow ; illustrated by fine engravings on wood, by WilHs, and 
interspersed with Anecdotes. To which is added Extracts from 
a Journal of Natural History, and a Catalogue of Birds which are 
found in the Island of Great Britain. 

He has likewise published Observations on the Casual and 
Periodical Influence of Atmospherical Causes on the Human 
Health, and Diseases, particularly Insanity; with a Table of Re- 
ference to Authors who have written on Epidemical and Periodi- 
cal Diseases. This work is illustrated by some novel cases, and 
the author endeavours to place the periods of insanity and other 
disorders of the biain and nervous system in the most important 
point of view, from the neces"-itv of beginning the curative pro- 
ceeding at particular stages of the disorder. Me classes the at- 
mospherical influence into two sorts : 1. That which ap])cars 
casual or happens at uncertain periods, exciting epidemics and 
other atnios|)herical complaints. 2. That which has observ- 
able periods: — thii he subdivides into annual, monthly, and 
<Iaily ])eriods. Me notices also certain other periods which be- 
long exclusively to particular diseases. The tractiis interspersed 


142 , Notices respecting New Books. 

with anecdotes, and concludes with some ohservations on Sui- 
cide, which place that criuie in a new point of view, considered 
as frequently resulting from a slow and often unperceived sort of 

Mr. William Pl!illi|)s, of Tottenham, has published a small 
work on Astroiiomv for those unacquainted witli the Mathema- 
tics. He therein mentions that a work on Meteorology is foith- 
coniing from the |ien of Mr. Luke Howard. 

Several more works from Dr. Spurzheim are expected from 
Paris in the course of a short time to he published in England. 

Decorative Pr'utling. — It is now sometime since Mr. William 
Savage issued Proposals for publishing Practical Hints on De- 
corative Printing, illustrated with fac-similes of drav> ings printed 
in colours by the tvpe-press. The preparations for this singular 
and unique publication are, we are happy to sav, in a state of 
great forwardness. We have seen some of the embellishments, 
imitations of water-colour drawings, so close as not to be di- 
stinguished from real drawings. Tliey are produced by the ap- 
plication of various tints by means of a succession of blocks, so 
managed as to produce all the gradations of light and shade, 
without the least harslmess or confusion. By this means the 
hnest drawings may be multiplied to an incoiiceiva!)le extent — a 
tiesideratvnn which promises to be of the greatest advantage to 
science, especially in all the different departments of natural 
history; ])utting it within the power of a traveller, at a compa- 
ratively small expense, to lay before his readers correct repre- 
sentations of the various objects with which it may be desirable 
to illustrate his work. But these, though important objects, are 
in one sense but secondary in Mr. Savage's work. He not only 
.shows by his own specimens that all this is practicable ; but he 
^ives the necessary instructions to enable others not only to ex- 
ecute and apply the different blocks, but to prepare all the va- 
rious inks and tints necessary for these and for every species of 
letter-press printing. On this point the instruction, to be com- 
municated i? most important, as he has brought to perfection 
the art of making printing-inks without the least particle of oil 
entering into their composition, or any thing that can sink into 
the paper, or spread from the impression and discolour the paper. 
This is an ol)ject of the greatest value ; for numerous publica- 
tions, on which every degice of attention has been bestowed by 
the printer, are ofcen rendered of comparatively little value, in u 
short time, by the discoloration of the paper occasioned by the 
spreading of the oil. We are sorry to observe that Mr. Savage 
has limited his impression to what we consider as too small a 
number for a work of so much value, iOO large (imperial 4to), 
an^ 250 small (demy 4to) : for, as the blocks are all to be de- 

The Davy. i4;} 

stroyed as soon as the work is printed, many who mav wish af- 
terwards to possess a copy, and to whom it mig-ht prove highly 
serviceable, must be disapj)ointed. 

Neia Variation Chart. — Ail the variation charts hitherto pub- 
lished, have been only transcripts of Dr. Halley's original chart, 
with few corrections for the change of variation since his time, 
and none of them extending beyond the Atlantic and Indian 
Oceans. Navigators have therefore long regretted the want of an 
accurate variation chart, comprehending the whole circuit of the 
navigable ocean and seas of our globe. To supjily this want, 
Mr. Thomas Yeates has, with much labour and care, constructed 
a variation chart of all the navigable oceans and seas between 
latitude 60^ north and south, from accurate documents obtained 
of Spanish surveys in the Pacific Ocean; journals at the Hvdro- 
graphical Office, Admiralty; and at the East India House; col- 
lated with tables of the variation recently formed from the ob- 
servations of diiferent navigators. This chart is delineated on 
a new plan, all the magnetic meridians being drawn upon it 
throughout, for every change of one degree in the variation; and 
it will be elucidated with cxuianatorv notes, and a brief state- 
ment of the late discovery of an aberration in the variation, re- 
sulting from the deviation or change of a ship's head from the 
magnetic meridian, accompanied by the rules invented bv the 
late Captain Flinders for correcting the same. It is to be pub- 
lished by subscription (price half-a-guinea) at Messrs. Black, 
Parbury, and Allen's, No. 7, Leadenliall-street; Mr. E. Trough- 
ton's, No. 136, Fleet-street; and Mr. Bates's, Poultry. 

XXI 11. Intelligence and MUcellaneoiis Articles. 

To Mr. Tillnch. 

Sin, — 1 BEG to add something explanatory relative to an ex- 
pression of mine in the communication you were pleased to in- 
fecrt in your last Number. I said that the safety promised by 
the ' Davy' was questioned by those '^ who ought to have known 
better." Cert.inly there never was any thing more unphiloso- 
jjhical than the fipposition it met with from them, and this even 
continued after it had been proved secure in the mine itself. 
Some raised their voice against it who never saw it, and had only 
heard of it through the medium of imperfect description. Others 
had seen it, but such had never made the experiment, and tliey 
yet rudely (|ues':ioned its efficiency. Others still more daring, 
subjected it to experiments totally unconnected with the phae- 
iionriena of the mine; and, determined to pervert its value, gave 

a false 

144 Poison of ihc Viper i — Corrosive Sidlimale. — Vegetation. 

a false estimate of its merits. Such is literally a portraiture of 
the character of tiie opposition made to the introduction of the 
safety-lamp. I sublimit it to the liberal and enlightened mind, 
whether it would not have begi more philosophical to have^r.s^ 
proved whether this instrument, introduced with such important 
recommendations, was really so wondrously endowed, and then 
to have given their opinion on its value or demerits? 

Havini;^ paid considerable attention to the action of vegetable 
Rnd animal poisons on the system, — the article which appeared 
in your penultimate Numljer, On the Poison of the Viper, could 
not fail to interest me. I have long believed that a?iimal poisons 
could be received into the svstem without iiijurv, and that to 
produce their proper effect thev must be mtroduced into tlie cir- 
culatiun. The conclusions of the paper in quesiinn are beauti- 
fully corroborated by the following extract from a letter to me, 
by Mr. Campbell, the African traveller : " The Hottentots be- 
lieve, that if thev swullon> tiie serpent's hag of j)oison, a sting or 
bite from a serpent will do them no harm. Several of my 
Hottentots assured me they had done it ; — one, who asserted it, 
was a Ckrisi'tiui, wlio I think would have sooner submitted to 
bave been torn to pieces by a tiger^ than to have uttered a deli'- 
hernie lie; so I fully credit it." 

The article in Dr. Tliomson's Annals for last month, On the 
Test for corrosive Sublimate, &c. calls to my mind a very ex- 
cellent and dehcate one for the detection of mercurial salts*— » 
Rub a little corrosive salt or calomel on a piece of silver, or suf- 
fer a drop of a solution of muriate of mercury to rest upon it ; 
a stain of a coppery colour will be left, and this, after a very 
liigh degree of dilution. 

If I might be permitted to remark on Mr. Tatum's Experi- 
ments on Vegetation, I would say that thev are liable to as many 
and as great objections as any other that I have seen detailed. 
They were subjectsd to a confined instead of a free atmosphere, 
and to mercuridl effluvia — the temperature of the included me- 
dium was unnatural, and they would be excluded from those 
thousand soiuccs of vicissitude which constitute the spring of all 
their beauty. I shall still hold unchanged the opinion I have 
long maintained as the result of direct experiment ; r.amelv, that 
the quantity of carbonic acid evolved by plants will bear but a 
pitiful proportion to the floods of oxygen poured out upon the 
atmosphere by the e.sercise of the vegetative functions — :\Iy 
mind therefore rests contented on the experiments of Priestley 
and Ingenhousz since corroborated, in contradiction to those of 
Ellis and Tatum. These observations will receive additional 
weight from the following deductions. It is notorious that oxy- 
gen is evolved from plants during the stimulus of light, and that 


Blow-pipe. — Galvmik Trovglis. 145 

\-^getation will continue some time liealthy in an atmosphere oi 
carbonic acid gas. That the vegetable functions act differently 
from those of 'animals, is evident liom the fact, that until the 
oxides of iron are heakJiful to the animal oeconomy, they are 
destructive to tlie process of vegetation. If the carijoruc acid 
gas was at ail ecniivalent to the oxygen set free, tohetwe comes 
the carbon which bnilds np the curious structure of the plant? 
The partial quantity of carbonic acid which plants respire, is 
evolved during 7? /^V?/; and this being condensed by the cool cf 
the evening, and mingling with tlie dews of this sea-^on cf repose, 
will not deteriorate the atmosphere, i)ut be absorbed by the soil 
on which it falls, and minister anew to the requirements of the 
plant. Besides, in winter, the plant being denuded of its foli- 
age has its inspiratory and expiratory organs comparatively 
suspended ; while the period when these powers are uncontrolled 
and most active is marked by a much longer sojourn of the suii 
above the verge of the horizon. And I may add in conchision, 
the sentiment of Brisseau Miibcl : " In Europe, while our vege- 
tables, stripped bv the severity of tlie season of their foliage, no 
longer yield the air contributing to life, the salutary gas is borne 
to us by trade-winds from the southernmost regions of America. 
Winds from all quarters of the globe intermingle thus the various 
strata of the atmosphere, and keep its constitution uniform in 
all seasons and in all elevation'--." 

Being in the habit of frequently ex]5erimenting with the blow- 
pipe of condensed oxygen and hydrogen, Dr. Clarke's late com- 
munication in Dr. Thomson's yViuials of Philosophy afforded me 
particular interest. Besides oil from its tranquil ebullition a.i- 
ioxA'mg no iiuhx of saj'ely, the disadvantage pointed out is as 
unexpected as important. During my course of chemical lec- 
tures at Greenock, I used water in the safety cistern, and my 
experiments were splendid and imposing. In the use of this 
instrument at Paisley, in my late lecture, the illustrations were 
feeble in effect and uhimposing, and I have often since wondered 
at the circumstance; — now at this time I used oil instead of wa- 
ter, and Dr. Clarke has fortunately solved the question. It ap- 
pears then that oil will never do. 

I may cor.clude these miscellanea by adverting to a very cu- 
rious circumstance which occurred to me here during my lecture 
on galvanism. I used three porcelain troughs with triads upon 
the principle of Dr. Wollaston. The fluid medium employed 
was diluted nitric and muriatic acids. I had omitted inad- 
vertently the beautiful experiment of the ignition of platinum 
wire, until the action of tl\e troughs was so feeble that it would 
not affect a hair's breadth of the metal. I immediately pro- 
posed, by way of experiment, to withdraw the plates from the 
Vol. 50. No. 232. August 1817. K cells, 


JValer- Spout. 

cells, and try the effect of a kwmimifes' exposure to thie aimo-- 
sphere:— the effect was singular and interesting: for when the 
plates were vetnined, ?/piva>ds of six im.kes of the platinum wire 
were instantly exalted to a whitk heat. This important result 
will immediately bring to your recollection some analogous ex- 
])erinients of Mr. Parrett, jun. ; and it iollows that by the appli- 
cation of mechanism to raise and lower the plates*, we can at 
pleasure renew if not increase the action, ivithont additional 
acid. 1 have frequently repeated this since, and always obtained 
an increased action. Your obedient humble servant, 
VVhitehavei), Aug. lb, 1817. J. MuRRAY. 


It happened to the editor of the Monthly Magazine, on the 
27th of June, about seven in the evening, to witness tlie forma- 
tion, operation, and extinction of what is called a water-spout ; 
a phaenomenon which in all ages has puzzled philosophers and 
encouraged the superstition of seamen and the vidgar. He was 
in the house north of the chapel at Kentish Tov,'n, and his at- 
tention vvas drawn to a sudden hurricane which nearly tore up 
the shrubs and vegetables in the western gardens, and filled the 
air with leaves and small collections of the recently cut grass. 
Very dark clouds had cnllected over the adjoiiiing country, and 
some stormy rain accom])anied by several strokes of lightning 
followed this hurricane of wind. The vjolence lasted a ie-w mi- 
nutes; and the writer being drawn to the eastern balcony, it was 
evident that a whilwind agitated the variety of substances which 
had been raised into the air. The storm proceeded from west 
to east, that is, from Hampstead over Kentish Town towards Hol- 
:v, _^[ V_,,^' Jfi^^ lowav. In about five minutes, 

in the direction of the latter 

place, a magnificent projection 
vvas visible from the clouds, like 
that on the margin : 

It descended two-ihirds of 
the distance from the clouds 
towards the earth, and evi- 
dently consisted of parts of 
clouds descending in a vortex, 
violently agitated Hke smoke 
from the chimney of a firrnace 
recently supplied with fuel. It 
then shortened, and appeared 
to be drawn up towards the 
stratum of clotlds; and presently it assumed the following ap- 
pearance : 

* As ill Mr. Peins's Appuiatus.^-Eo. 

Water-Spoui, U? 

It finally drew itself into the 
cloud ; but a small cone, or 
projecting thread, of varying 
size and length, continued for 
ten minutes. At the time, and 
for half an hour after, a severe 
storm of rain was visihlyfalling 
from the mass of clouds connected with it, the extent being ex- 
actly defined by the breadth of Holloway, Highgate, and Horn- 
sey. yVbout two hours after, on walkin<;"from Kentish Town to- 
wards Holloway, it was found that one of the heaviest torrents 
of rain remembered by the inhabitants had fallen around the 
foot of Highgate-hill; and some persons having seen the pro- 
jecting cloud, an absolute belief existed that a water-spout had 
burst at the crossing of the new and old roads. On proceeding 
towards London, varicuis accounts, agreeing with the superstition 
or preconceived notions of the bye-standers, were given; but in 
the farm-yard at the three-mile stone it appeared that some hay- 
makers were stacking some hay from a waggon which stood be- 
tvveen two ricks, that the same whirlwind' which passed over 
Kentish Town had passed over the loaded waggon with an im- 
petus sullicient to cany it above twenty yards Vrom its station, 
and to put the men upon it and on the ri'ckin fear of their lives. 
Passing the road, it carried with it a stream of hay, and nearly 
unroofing a shed on the other side, filled the air to a great height 
with fragmerits of hay, leaves, and boughs of trees, which resem- 
bled a vast flight of birds in progress across the interval between 
the London road and Duval's" Lane, towards Hornsey Wood. 
The family of the writer, from his residence a quarter of a mile 
nearer Loiulon, beheld tlie descending cloud, or water-spout, 
pass over the si)ot; and they saw its train, which, at the time, 
they took to be a flight of "birds. They afterwards beheld tlie 
descending cloud draw itself upward, and they and other wit- 
nesses describe it as a vast mass of smoke working about in great 
agitation. To them it was nearly vertical, in a northern direc- 
tion ; and to persons a cpiarter of a mile north it was nearly ver- 
tical in a soulheni direction: ;ind all agree that it drew itself up, 
without rain, at a short <iistaiice to the east of Duval's Lane, 
and that it was followed near the eartli by the train of light bodies. 
It appeared also, on various testimony', to let itseh' down in a 
gradual and iiesitating manner, beginning with a sort of knob in 
the cloud, and then descending lower, and curling and twisting 
about, till it shortened, and gradually drew itself into the cloud. 
The inferences, thcreforo, of the editor, from what he saw and 
heard, arc as follow : 

K 2 1 . That 

us IFaler- spout. 

1. That the phiPiioniencn called a water-spout is a mere col- 
lection of clouds^ of tho same rarity as the mass whence they are 

2. That tlie descent is a mechanical effect of a whirlwind, 
which creating a vacuum, or high degree of rarefaction, extend- 
ing between the clouds and earth, the clouds descend in it by 
their gravity, or by the pressure of the surrounding clouds or air. 

3. That the convolutions of the descending mass, and tlie 
sensible whirlwind felt at the earth, as well as the appearance of 
tlie commencement, increase, and decrease of tlie mass, all de- 
monstrate the whirl of the air to be the mechanical cause. 

4. That the same vortex, whirl, or eddy, of the air, which 
occasions the clouds to descend, occasions the loose bodies on 
the earth to ascend. 

5. That if in this case the lower surface had been water, the 
same meclianical power would have raised a body of foam, va- 
jjour, and water, towards the clouds. 

6. That as soon as the vortex or whirl exhausts or dissipates 
itself, the pluTi'.oiriena terminate by the fall to the lower surface 
of the light bodies or water, and by the ascent of the cloud. 

7. That when water constitutes the light body of the lower 
surface, it is probable that the a(jueous vapour of the cloud, by 
coalescing with it, may occasion the clouds to condense, and fall 
at that point, as through a syphon. 

8. That if the descending cloud be highly electrified, and the 
vortex pass over a conducting body, as a church-steeple, it is 
jjroljable it may be condensed by an electrical concussion, and 
fall at that spot — discharging whatever has been taken up from the 
lower surface, and producing the strange phaenomena of showers 
of frogs, fish, 8cc. ike. 

9. It appears certain, that the action of the air on the mass of 
clouds, pressing towards the mouth of the vortex as to a funnel 
(which in this case it exactly represented), occasioned such a 
condensation as to augment the simultaneous fall of rain to a 

A water-spout appears, therefore, to be produced by me- 
chanism easily understood. But the writer would asl<, whether 
for important oeconomical purposes it may not be possible to 
imitate this mechanism by erecting hollow cylinders of wood or 
iron, and exhausting them of air by vessels in communication 
with them, or by heat, so as to produce the vacuum of a whirl- 
wind, and, by consequence, the condensation and fall of clouds, 
whenever rain might be urgently wanted for purposes of agricul- 
ture ? 



Steam- Boat. ^—Malvern Waters. — Ancient Coal-Mines, 149 


We have omitted in its proper place a note relative to the 
Plate given with the article on the Steam-Boat, in the present 
Number. The dotted lines at the side of the paddle-wheels are 
intended to indicate that the wheels may be made to occupy 
the whole breadth of the stern of the vessel. 


A correspondent having requested information respecting the 
analysis of the Malvern Well, alluded to in p. 231 of our last 
volume, we insert the result from Dr. Philip's work on this 
subject, published so far back as the year 1805. 

The contents of one gallon of the Hoiywdlwa.tev are: 

Carbonate of soda 5 '33 grs. 

Carbonate of lime 1*6 

Carbonate of magnesia 09199 

Carbonate of iron 0-625 

Sulphate of soda 2-896 

Muriate of soda 1 *553 

Residuum * i '687 

Of the water of St. Ann's Well, Dr. Philip gives the following 
as the contents of a gallon : 

Carbonate of soda 3-55 

Carbonate of hme 0*3.52 

Carbonate of magnesia 0-26 

Carbonate of iron 0*328 

.Sulphate of soda I "48 

Muriate of soda 0*955 

Residuum 0*47 



A Dublin paper gives the following account of the ancient 
coal-mines lately discovered at the Giants' Causeway: 

" There were five pits of coal opened in Port Ganneye, west of 
the Giants' Causeway; the westernmost of which is 241 feet 

* Tliis residuum was found to be insoluble in the sulphuric, muriatic, 
and nitric acids; also in solutions of the alkaline carbonates and ot ani- 
nioiiia, and in alcohol; but with the assistance of heat dissolved very ra- 
j)idly in a btrong solution of pntiish or of soda. The author concludes, that 
this rciiduuni consists of jjarticles separated from the surface of the glass 
retort by the action of the water when boiling, and that the soda 19 the 
)>riuci])(il agent in producing this separation. 

K 3 above 

150 Steam Engines. — Geological Curiosities at Boughton Hill. 

above the level of the sea at half tide, and from thence to the 
top of the precipice 44 feet. 

" In Port Noifer, of the Giants' Cause\vay,thcre were two 
pits; the westennnost 199 feet from the level of the sea — and 
from the pit to the top 70 feet. The distance from the first 
altitude taken at Port Gauncye to that in Port Noflfer, is 80 

"The people v.ho found the coal, with difficulty and in some 
places great danger, threw oft" the pillars to get at it, and could 
not pursue it further than cleared, as they had no method of 
supporting the vast mass above it. 

" The stratum of coal dips into th.e land in a southerly direc- 
tion; and from tlie altitudes taken it appears that it lowers as it 
approaches to the ei-f^t. 

" Several trials at dift'erent ))laccs have been made to find coal, 
but none wortli following, except under columnar basalt, aI)ove 
which is a stratum of irregular whin-stone, then basalt pillars at 
the top. The de|)th of the good seams of coal i^ from llnee to 
five feet • the upper coal, on which the pillars rest, is a soft 
mossv coal; the wooden coal is in the centre, and the best and 
more solid at the bottom of the pit. The l)locks of wooden coal 
lie nearly horizontal, in an east and west direction across the 
face of the promontorv. One of those blorks is so large in the 
east pit, Port Ganneye, that four men with two crow-irons could 
not turn it out. 

" Tlie land, from the precipice to the southward falls consi- 


The following .were the respective quantities of water lifted 
one foot high with one bushel of coals by twenty-riinc engines, 
reported by Messrs. Leans', in the month of July. 

Lucid pel' square 

Pounds of YCiiler. 

inch in ct/l'ntder. 

21 common engines a'. 




VV'oolf's at Wheal Vor 

^ ^ 


1.5-4 lib. 

Ditto Wh. Abraham . . 



Ditto ditto . . 

2. i, 253,888 


Ditto Wh. Unity 



Dalcouth engine 



Wheal Abraham ditto 



United mines ditto . . 


17 9 

Wheal Chance ditto 




The workmen employed in cutting through Boughton Hill, 


New Barometer. 151 

Kent, have lately found three bullets, nearly thirty feet from the 
sarface, in the solid clay; they are of an o!)long form, and the 
lead is so )3urc that vvhen cut it exhibits a beautiful metallic lus- 
tre; the surface is covered v^'ith a green colour, resembling in 
appearance clay when combined with pyrites. No probable 
conjecture can be formed as to the manner and time ot their de- 
position-; for neither local circumstances, nor the primary stra- 
tum in winch they were found, can lead to any satisfactory ex- 
planation. Several shells have also been found in the secondary 
stratum, one of which is particularly remarknble, exhibiting in 
its interior a mass of minute crvstals of selenite, v/hich seems 
clearlv to prove that the crvstallization of this mineral has taken 
place subsequently to the depodtion of the sliell, and therefore 
may be considered, comparatively speaking, as of recent forma- 
tion. The fossils are carefullv collected by a gentleman in the 
neighbourhood, and are intended to be exhibited at the cottage 
on the hill, wlienever their number shall be worthy of notice. It 
is a singular circumstance, that the masses of clay which acci- 
dentally fall down exhibit, in every instance which has yet oc- 
curred, an inclined plane of 4') degrees — and the surface of these 
planes, which the workmen call slips, are covered over usually to 
the depth of a quarter of an inch, with an exceedingly soft species 
of clay, of a blueish colour. The work on the hill is now going 
on very well, considering the difficulty which arises from the 
falling in of the earth at the sides from the want of tenacity in 
the clayey soil. 


We understand (says an Edinburgh newspaper) that an instru- 
ment has lately been invented by Adie, optifian,Edin!)urgli,which 
answers all the purposes of the common barometer, and has 
tlie advantage of being much more portal)le, and much less liable 
to accidt-nt. In this instrument the moveable column is oil, in- 
closing in a tube a portion of nitrogen, which changes its bulk 
according to the density of tiie atmosphere. Mr. Adie has given 
it the name oi'sympitiometer^ov measurer of 'oiiipression). One 
of these new instruments was taken to India in the Buckingliam- 
shire of Greenock ; and by directions of Captain Christian, cor- 
responding observations were made on it and on the connnon 
marine barometer every three hours dining the voyage. The 
result, we are informed, was entirely satisfactory — the new in- 
strument remaining uiiaft'ccted by the violent motion of the ship. 
We may add, that the sympiesometer n)ay be made of dimen- 
sions so small as to be easily carried in the pocket, so that it is 
likely to bo become a valuable ac(iuisitiou to the geologist. 

K 4 LEtTUllES. 

152 Lectures, 


Lfindon Hospital. — Lectures on the following subjects will be 
given at tliis Hospital, to cominoncc in October: 

Ansitomy and Physiologv, by Mr. Headington : Surgery, by- 
Mr. Ileadiiigton; Midwifery, by Dr. Ramsbottom; Ciiemistry, 
bv Mr. R. Phillips ; Materia Mcdica, and Phai'macv, bv Mr. 
R. Phillips. 

Particulars may be had of Mr. Jenkenson, at the London Hos- 

Mr. R. Phillips will comnieuce a Course of Twentv-four Lec- 
tures on Chemistry, at No. 66, Cheapside, on Monday the 6th 
of October, at Seven o'clock in the Evening. 

Tickets of Admission and a Syl!al)us of the Lectures may be 
had of Mr. Phillips, No. 1, George -Yard, Lombard-Street, and 
of Mr. Edeiiborough, 29, Poultry. 

Si. George's Medical, Che/iiical, and Chirurfrical School. — 
The Courses will commence in the first week of October, namely: 

1. On the Laws of the Animal (Economy, and the Practice 
of Physic, (at No. 9, George-Street, Hanover Square,) bv George 
Pearson, M.D. F.R.S., Senior Physician to St. George's Hos- 
pital, tkc. &c. &;c. 

2. On Therapeutics, with Materia Medica and Medical .Ju- 
risprudence, by VV. T. Brande, F.R.S., Professor at the Royal 
Institution ; and by George Pearson, M.D., &c. &c. 

3. On Chemistry, at the Royal Institution, by W. T. Brande, 
Professor of Chemistry, Roy. Inst. 

4. On Surgery, by B. C. Brodie, F.R.S., Assistant Surgeon 
to St. George's Hospital. 

5. Sir Everard Home will give, as usual, Surgical Lectures 
gratuitously to the Pupils of the Hospital. 

Anutoinical, Chirnrgicol, and Medical School of St. Thomas's 
and Guy's Hospitals. — The usual Course of Lectures at these 
Hospitals will commence in October; viz. 

At St. Thomas's. — Anatomy and Operations of Surgery, by 
Mr. Astley Cooper and Mr. Henry Cline. — Principles and Prac- 
tice of Surgery, by Mr. Astley Cooper. 

At Guy's.- Practice of Medicine, by Dr. Curry and Dr. 
Cholaieley. — Chemistry, by Dr. Marcet and Mr. Allen. — 
Experimental Philosophy, ])v Mr. Alien. — Theory of Medicine, 
and NLiteria Medica, bv Dr. Curry and Dr. Cholmeley. — Mid- 
wifery, and Diseasjs of Women and Children, l)y Dr.Haighton, 
— Phj'siology, or Laws of the Animal OEconomy, by Dr. Haighton. 
— Structure and Diseases of the Teeth, bv Mr. Fox. 

N. B. These several Lectures, with those on Anatomy, and on 
the Principles and Practice of Surgery, given at the Theatre of 
St. Thomas's Hospital adjoining, are so arranged that no two of 


Lectures. 153 

them interfere in the hours of attendance ; and the whole is cal- 
culated to form a Complete Course of Medical and Chirurgical 
Instruction. Terms and other particulars may be learnt from 
Mr.-Stocker, Apothecary to Guy's Hospital. 

The following Course cf Lectures will be delivered at St. Bar- 
tholomew's Hospital, during the ensuing Winter. To commence 
October the first : 

On the Theory and Practice of Medicine, by Dr. Hue. — On 
Anatomy and Physiology, by Mr. Abernethy. — On the Theory 
and Practice of Surgery, by Mr. Abernethy. — On Chemistry and 
Materia Medica, by Dr. Hue. — On Midwifery, by Dr. Gooch.— < 
Practical Anatomv, with Demonstrations, by Mr. Stanley. 

Further particulars may be obtained by application to IV^r. 
Wheeler, Apothecary at the Hospital; or of Messrs. Anderson 
and Chase, Booksellers, 40, West Smithfield. 

Mr. J. Taunton, member of the Royal College of Surgeons of 
London, Surgeon to the City and Finsbury Dispensaries, City of 
London Truss Society, &c., will commence his Autumnal Course 
of Lectures on Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and Surgery, on 
Saturday, October -1, 1817, at Eight o'clock in the Evening pre- 
cisely, and continue them every Tuesday, Thursday, and Satur- 
day, at the same hour. 

In this Course of Lectures it is proposed to take a comprehen- 
sive view of the structure and ceconomy of the living body, and 
to consider the causes, symptoms, nature, and treatment of sur- 
gical diseases, with the mode of performing the different surgi- 
cal operations ; forming a complete course of anatomical and phy- 
siological instruction fur the medical or surgical student, the 
artist, tlie professional or private gentleman. 

An ample field for professional edification will be afi^orded by 
the opportunity which pupils may have o'i attending the clinical 
and other practice of both the City and Finsbury Dispensaries. 

Mr. John Mason Good, F.R.S., &;c. will commence his Course 
of Lectures on Nosology, Medical Nomenclature, the Theory, 
Principles and Practice of Medicine, on Mondajf, September 29, 
1817, at the Crown and Rolls Rooms, Chancery Lane. The 
Course will rather exceed three months, and be repeated thre? 
times a year. From the comprehensiveness of the subject a 
Lecture will be given every day instead of every other day, as is 
the usual practice. The Introductory Lecture will commence 
;>t Half pasi Three o'clock in the Afternoon : the subsequent 
Lectures at Eight in the Morning. The former will be o])en to 
the Medical Public, including Medical Pupils, by Tickets, to he 
had gratuitou-ily at any of the Medical Booksellers of the Metro- 
polis; where the Terms for the Lectures may also be known. 


154 List of Patents for new Iiwentious. 


To Reuben Phillips, of the city of Exeter, for his new and im- 
proved method of purifying gas for the purpose of illumination- 
— 19th July 1817. — 6 months allowed for lodging the specifica- 

To George Wyke, of Bath, and Edward Shorter, of Union- 
street, Borough, for certain improvements in the construction 
of wheel carriages. — 19th July. — 6 mouths. 

To Peter Hamden, of Albany-place, in the parish of St. Giles 
Camberwell, Surrey, for his improveuient or improvements in the 
making a cement or composition for ornr.ments and statues, 
and for making artificial bricks or an imitation of bricks, tiles, 
and stones, and joining and cementing the same, and for erecting, 
covering, and decorating buildings. internally and externally ; and 
also an improvement or improvements in tlic mixing, working, 
and moulding of the said cement or composition upon any sort 
of materials, or in working and moulding whole and entire erec- 
tions and substances therewith. — 19th July. — 6 months. 

To Frederick Brnnton, of Bride- Lane, Fleet-street, London, 
for his new mode of employing silk or other materials in the 
making of hats and bonnets. — I9th Julv. — 2 months. 

To John James Alexander MacCarthy, of Millbank-street, 
Westminster, Middlesex, for his road or way for passage across 
rivers, creeks and waters, and from shore to shore thereof, with- 
out stoppage or impediment to the constant navi'i;ation thereof, 
and across ravines, fissm'cs, cleft'^, and chasms; and a new method 
or methods oi constructing arches and apertures for the running 
and flowing of water through the same, or under bridges to be 
used and applied in the construction of the before-mentioned 
road or way, or otherwise. — 2Sth July. — 6 months. 

To Louis Felix Vallet, late of Paris, but now of \Vall)rook, 
London, for his new ornamental surface to metals or metallic 
compositions. — 5th August. — 6 months. 

To George Stratton, of Piccadilly, Middlesex, for his method 
of saving fuel by improvements in fire-places, and more eiTectually 
heating and ventilatmg buildings. — 5th August. — (> months. 

To Charles Attvvood, of Bridge-street, Blackfriars, London, 
for his improvement or improvements in the manufacture of 
window-glass of the kind or description commonly wrought or 
fabricated into crjwn glass or German sheet glass; and also in 
a certain process or processes in the manufacture of crown glass. 
— 5th August. — 2 months. 

To John Hawks, of Gateshead, county of Durham, for his new 


Brussels Prize Question.^ Astronomy. 155 

method of making iron rails to he used in tlic construction of 
rail-wavs. — 5th August.— 2 months. 

To Lndvid Granhohn, of Foster-lane, in the city of London, 
raptain in the Roval Navy of Sueden, for his new or miproved 
method or methods, process or processes, mean or means, ot 
preserving such animal and veger ible products or substances se- 
parately or mixed together, as are fit for the food ot man, for such 
a lengtii of time as to render them fit for ship and garrison stores. 
— 5th August. — 6 months. 

To Anthony Hill, of Plymouth Iron-works, for improvements 
in the working of iron.— rith August.— 6 months. ^ 

To John Dickinson, of Nash Mill in the parish of Abbott s 
Lan.-^ley Hertfordshire, for his method of manufacturing by means 
of nraciiinerv, paper for copper-plate printing ; also paper for 
writiu'-, diawin.o, letter-press printing, and of a thicker sort tor 
boards"^, and similar in texture and substance to card-boards or 
paste-boards; and certain improvements in his patent machinery 
for manuafacturing and cutting paper.— othAugust.— G months. 
To Dennis MacCartliy, of Little Compton-street, J5t„ Ann s, 
Soho, Middlesex, for certain improvements on ploughs of various 
descriptions.— 5th August.— 6 months. 


The last branch of the second prizQ question of the Royal 
Academy of Sciences of Brussels, given p. 380, vol. xlix. has been 
since aniended; and instead of the way in which it is there stated, 
now runs thus: " In case of no decision, as to the greater pro- 
bability, which of the two methods of investigating its nature is 
best calculated to simplify the theory of chemical facts?" 


D. H. 

D. H. M. 

I. 0. a in apogee 14.12. 2 d cc :0i 
2.12 46 ([ Ab \5. g. 5 ([ X ^ 
4. 8.54 d 125 a 15.13.i56 ({ A - 
6.12.53 ([ V n 15.17 8 (( 5nK 

6 ? 20 dl 2S * 2' S. 15. 0. O (? « 8 * 20 S. 

7 i 2(j (f vl/ So 17. 1 18 a OOphiuchi 

7.' o. 9 :& 93 *7'N. 18. 942 a -^ t 

10. O. 9 44 s *4l'N. 20. O <? 105 8 * 23' S. 

II. 0.30 'H. e O 21. 9.44 (L sVS 

12 O 5 374 Mayer* 26' N. 22. O. c? 108 « nearly m 

12. a 380 Mayer* 26' N. contact 
J2. 2 50 '( y W 23.22 28 Q enters e^ 
12.16. 1 i ^W 26.19.51 (L -^ 

13. O. ([ in perigee 29. 0. ([ m apogee 
13, 0. 383 Mayer* 24' N. 29.20.I8 a A b 

156 Meteorology . 


At Tunbridge Wells, on the night of Wednesday the 30th of 
Jtilv, about half after eleven o'clock, appeared a beautiful para- 
selene, or mock moon. It was at the distance of al)out 25 de- 
grees south of the moon, and was hii^hly coloured witli red and 
yellow, and at length had the addition of a projecting and ta- 
pering band of light extending in the direction of the halonic 
radius. The phaenomenoa lasted about three minutes. The 
sky was full of the cinus or ciu Icloud, and the wanedoud passed 
over in fine veils here and tliere dispersed in wavy bars. A 
qhange had been conspicuous in the clouds to-day. The long 
lu)^s of cirrus extending to either horizon, large well-defined 
twainclouds to leeward, and waneclouds in the intermediate re- 
gion of the atmosphere, formed a character of the sky contrasted 
to the rapid production of rainclouds and showers which had 
gone on almost every day for a week before. — The Iiarometcr 
was stationary nearly ail day, and till midnight, at 29--13. 

The Journal, of Augsburgh of the Sth \dt. has published the 
following observations made in the Observatory of that city:— 
*' On the 7th inst. at 42 minutes past eight in the evening, 
Professor Stark observed, in a serene sky, a luminous band, of a 
colour similar to the Milky Vv'ay, in the direction of the head of 
Serpentarius, in the constellation Hercules ; and which passing 
below the Northern Crown, and then between the tail of the 
Great Bear, and the head of the Little Bear, ended in the star 
Alpha of the Dragon. Its length was 71 degrees, and its breadth, 
almost every where uniform, was two apparent diameters of the 
Moon. This phsenomenon, which had a great resemblance to 
the prolongation which rapidly took place on the 1 3th of Sep- 
tember ISll, in the tail of the great comet, disappeared at 
58 minutes past eight. From this moment until one o'clock in 
the morning the Professor observed that the nebulous part No. 8, 
of the constellation of the Buckler of Sobiesky, when the lu- 
minous band had commenced, seemed to be surrounded with an 
aureola greater, more lively, and more sparkling than usual. 

The great spot or crevice, which appeared on the 23d of July 
last on the sun's disk, disappeared on the 4th of August. There 
were afterwards formed a great number of small spots, arranged 
in several groups, which Professor Stark intends to describe in a 
work which he proposes to publish very soon. 


Meteorology. 157 

Meteorological OLiervatmia kept at V/althamstow, Essex, from 
Jail] 15 io yliigust 15, iSlJ. 

[Ubualiy between tliell'^uvs of Seven and NineA.iVI. and theThermomr;ter 
(a second time) between One and Two P.M.] 

Date. Tlieini. Barom. Wind. 

15 52 29-32 SE—NW—N.NW.— Very rainy; very black 
64 nimhus 8| A.M.; sun and great showers all 

day; stormy; showery. 

16 51 29-65 N— "NW. — Sunshine, cirra5 and windy; fine 
62 day; clear and cirrostratus. 

17 53 29-87 NW. — Clear, cirrus, and cirrostratus; fine 
62 day; rain and wind. 

18 53 29-87 NW.— Gray and calm; 11P.M.; wind and 

68 cirrus; fine day; cirrostratus and clear- 

19 54 99-98 NW. — Clear, clouds, and wind; fine day; 
G8 moon- and star-light. 

20 59 30-00 NW—SW.— Clear and aVnw; fine day; rain 

69 after 6 P.M. 

21 58 29-88 SW — S. —Clouds and wind; fine day; at 

70 8 P.M. a mackerel cirrostrutiis ; clear nighl. 
;Mocn first ([uarter. 

22 61 29-77 SW—S—SW.— Rain and hazy; fine day; sun 
68 and wind; clear, and cwroi/traifM*. 

23 59 29-78 NW— N— NW. — Gray; showers and sun; 
68 great shower at 3 P!M.; clear and cirro- 

24 60 30-00 N— SE— SW. — Sun, and cir?oc?/m«Z«5; fine 
73 day; clear, and cirrostratus; the moon in a 


25 60 aO-00 S— SW. — Gray; slight rain; wind, clouds and 
6G some sun ; clear ; cirrostratus. 

26 60 29-99 S.— Gray; slight showers; rainy; clouds and 
64 wind. 

27 59 29-76 SW.— Clear and cumuli; 10 A.M. thunder 
57 and rain; stormy showers and sun between 

them ; clear, and cirrostratus. 

28 54 29-77 SV/.— Clear, clouds, sun, and wind; sunshine; 
67 after 5 P.M. storms of rain; star-light. 

Full moon. 

29 58 30-00 W— SW— S by E.—Ctimuli; clear, sun and 
69 wind; fine day; star-light. 

* July 23d, a niiin and a dog were killed by lightning at Sevenoaks in 
Kent ; and tlie steeple of Sunchurcli burnt at the same time. 


158 Meteorology. 

SE — W. — Sunshine; fine day; cirrus and cu- 
muli ; cloudy. 

SE. — Sun, and cumuli; sun and showers; 
storm at Tottenham at S P.M. ; bright star- 

\y. — Clear and «m«//i; sunshine, and brisk 

wind ; clear night. 
VV by S — NW.W. — Clear morning; fine day; 

cloudy night. 
S — SW. — Cloudy and wind\ ; fine dav; star- 
light ; 1 1 P.M. remarkable cirrncumuli. 
SW — W. — Sun; cumuli, and windy; sun and 

showers ; cloudy. 
N — SE. — Gray morning and windv; fine day; 

fine clear star-light night. Moon last 

SW — S. — Siui and stratus; clear,and cumuli; 

clear star-liglit. 
SE. — Gray; no sun till about 1 P.M.; clouds; 

some stars. 
SW. — Rain early ; showers, sun and wind ; 

hue afternoon; star-light. 
NW — W. — Cler.r, and windy; a shower at 

noon; fine dav; fine star-liglit night. 
W — SW — NW. — Slight showers, and sun, and 

windjhazv and sun; showery; clear star-light. 
S. — Fine morning; sun and clouds; gray day, 

but some sun about '6 P.M. ; slight showers 

after 6 P.M.; cloudy. 
S. — Sun, wind, and hazy; shower at noon ; 

fine day; star-light; rain lU P.M. New 

SW. — Cloudy and great wind; gieat showers; 

sun and wind; star-hglit. 
SW — S. — Rain, sun, and windy; sun and 

clouds, and windy; showers all day; mottled 

cirrnslratus at 6 P.M.; rain, and very dark. 
S — SW. — Sunshine; fine day; some drops of 

rain; star-light. 
The 19th of last June, the 2d time of the Thermometer was 
70, and that was at 8 A.M. ; it was taken again at 3 P.M. and 
was then SO, as it was unavoidably missed that day at the usual 


30 56 







1 51 


















































[The time of observation, unless otherwise stated, is at 1 P.M.I 

Age ot 





State of the Weatlier and Mo 





of tile Clouds. 


JuJv 15 




Heavy rain all the day 





Fair — some rain P.M. 




29 94 

Ditto ditto 





Showery — heavy rain P.M. 
next morning 

till the 















Ditto — some rain A.M. 





Ditto ditto 





Ditto ditto P.M. 







1 1 












29 66 










30 06 

Ditto — rain in the even? and nisht 





Ditto ditto 





Thimder storm — heavy rain 

Aug. 1 



29- 90 






Fair — rain in the evening 









29- SO 





30- 1 5 

Fair through the day 





Ditto ditto 










Stormy — rain 







2 7 



Fine all the day 





Fair — heavy rain at night 





Ditto — gale from the W. 





Ditto ditto 





Showery ditto 

The harvest in tliis n(;i^hbourhood will not commence generally for at 
leubt fourteen d.iy^. 


160 Meteorokgy, 

meteorological table, 
By Mr. Gary, of the Strand, 
For August 181 7. 

• — 


r>'a) . 

Days of 



Ilcii-ht of 

die Baroni. 


To S ^' 


July 27 





















30 CO 













Aug. 1 














3 55 






4i 59 























































12 58 






13! 59 






14 62 






15; 60 






16 60 






17J 58 






18; 57 






19' 60 






20j 60 






21 55 




















24 bQ 






251 59 






1 55 








N.B. The Barometer's height is taken at cue o'clock. 

Erratum.— In Sir Richaud Phillips's paper, in this Number, at the 
end of the 2d objection, for " being the orbicular force common," read 
*' thfe Orbicular force being common." 

[ 161 ] 

•XX IV. On Iodine. By Andrew Ure, M.D. Professor of 
Chemistry, &c. ^c, Glasgow, 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, ■ — J. HE great trouble and uncertainty attending all the 
processes which have been prescribed in the scientific journals 
for procuring this interesting elementary body, and the high 
price at which it is sold in Great Britain, induced me about two 
years ago to inquire whether an easier and cheaper mode of 
preparing it might not be discovered*. 

As many of the Scotch soap manufacturers use scarcely any 
other alkaline matter for their hard soaps except kelp, it oc- 
curred to me that in some of their residuums a substance might 
he found, rich in iodine. Accordingly, after some investigation, 
I found a brown liquid of an oily consistence, from which I ex- 
pected to procure v\hat I wanted. This liquid drains from the 
salt, which they boil up and evaporate to dryness from their 
waste leys for the soda manufacturer. I instituted a series of 
experiments on the best mode of extracting the iodine. As these 
succeeded far beyond my expectation, I hope the following ac- 
count of them will prove not uninteresting to the British chemist. 

The specific gravity of the above li(|uid, as obtained at diflferent 
times, is very uniformly about 1'374, water being 1000. It 
converts vegetable blues to green, thus indicating free alkali. 
Of this the manufacturer is aware, for he returns it occasionally 
into his kelp leys. Its boiling point is 233° Fahr. Eight ounces 
apothecaries' measure require precisely one measured ounce of 
sulphuric acid for their neutralization. Sup})Osing this quantity 
of acid combined with soda, it would indicate one part of pure 
soda in eleven by weight of the liquid. But the greater part of 
the alkali is not uncombined ; for an immense quantity of sul- 
phurous acid and a little sulphuretted hydrogen gases escape on 
theaffirsion of the sulphuric acid. One hundred grains of the liquid 
yield 3<S cubic inches of gas, chiefly sulphurous acid; and sul- 
phur is at the same time deposited. From the quantity of sul- 
phur, one might expect a larger proportion of sulphuretted hydro- 
gen ; but the disengaged gas possesses the peculiar smell and 
pungency of burning sulphur, blanches the petals of the red 
rose, but shows hardly any action on paper dipped in saturnine 
solutions. In the instant of decomposition of the sulphite of so- 
da, and hydrogurelted sulphuret existing in the Hquid,the nascent 
bulphurous acid of the former may be supposed to act on the 

* The iodine sold in London is for the most part imported from Pans, 
«ts I w;i<* ir)t'<ir(iird by an eminent prncHciil chemist. 

Vol. 50. No. 233. Sept. 1817. L nascent 

l62 On Iodine. 

nascent sulphuretted hydrogen of the latter; their atoms of oxj'- 
gen and hydrogen uniting to form water, while the sulphur of 
both is precipitated. I cannot in any other way account for the 
very copious separation of sulphur, while very little sulphuretted 
hydrogen appears. From the excess of sulphite present in the 
liquid, we have a redundant quantity of sulphurous acid evolved. 
From eight liquid ounces, equal by weight to eleven^ 213 grains 
of sulphur are obtained. 

The liquid saturated with the sulphuric acid has a specific 
gravity of 1*443, a bright yellow colour, and it does not afifect 
the purple infusion of red cabbage. I distilled eight ounces of 
this in a glass retort. The stopper of the tubulated receiver 
was frequently blown out by the escape of incondensable gas, even 
after the liquid had been for a long time in ebullition. This, 
which was probably hydriodic acid gas, continued to be evolved 
to the very last. In the receiver, which had been kept vei-y 
cool, a colourless and nearly transparent liquid was found. Its 
specific gravity was 1"054, of an acidulous and acerb taste ; it 
reddened vegetable blues, and powerfully blackened brass. 
From this liquid I could extract only three or four grains of 
iodine, though the viscid black substance left in the retort yielded 
more than twenty times the quantity. We see therefore that bv 
distillation very little hydriodic acid can be procured from the 
saturated liquid. 

In the prosecution of my researches to ascertain the best mode 
of extracting the iodine, I at length discovered the causes of the 
anomalous results which had not a little perplexed me at first, 
rendering the product very uncertain. The following method 
was found to answer extremely well. 

The brown iodic liquid of the soap-boiler was heated to about 
230^ Fahr.; poured into a large stone-ware bason, of which it 
filled nearly one-half, and was then saturated by the proper 
quantity of sulphuric acid, as above stated. The acid ought to 
be previously diluted with its own bulk of water*. On cooling 
the mixture, a large quantity of saline crystals is found adhering 
to the sides and bottom of the vessel. These are chiefly sulphate 
of soda, with a very little sulphate of potash, and a few beautiful 
oblong rhomboidal plates of hydriodate of soda. The precipi- 
tated sulphur is intermixed with these crystals. 

After filtering the cold liquid through woollen cloth, I add to 
every twelve ounces apothecaries' measure, 1000 grains of pow- 
dered black oxide of manganese. This mixture is made in a 
glass globe or matrass, over the mouth of which a glass globe h 

* When concentrated oil of vitriol is .added, tlie effervescence is very 
violent; tlie liquid reddens wherever the acid falls, and a little of the pur- 
pic vapour of iodine rises. 


bh todme. 163 

then inverted. The heat of a charcoal chaffer heing now applied, 
the iodine sublimes in great abundance. To prevent the heat 
from acting on the globular receiver, a thin disc of wood, with 
a round hole in its centre, is placed over the shoulder of the 
matrass. As soon as one globe becomes hot, another may be 
substituted in its place ; and thus two or three may serve in ro- 
tation to condense a verv large quantity. The iodine is easily 
washed out by a little water. It is then drained on glass plates, 
iand dried. From the aliove twelve ounces of liquid I usually 
obtained about 200 grains of iodine. This may be purified by 
a second sublimation from dry quicklime. Tlie most convenient 
apparatus is that represented (Plate III. fig. 1.) Itis composed 
of an e.tterior vessel 0, containing the mixed materials, and an 
interior one a, filled with cold water. On the outside of a, beau- 
tiful large crystals concrete, and l)y lifting up a they may be 
readily detached without breaking them. If in the operation of 
subliming the water of a should become hot, it is easy to run 
it off with a siphon, and to fill it again with cold, or to put into 
it some ice. I have not seen any such apparatus described be- 
fore, and I can recommend it as possessing many advantages 
over the subliming vessels usually employed. 

If the manganese be increased much beyond the above pro- 
portion, the product of iodine is greatly lessened. If, for example, 
thrice the quantity be used, a furious effervescence ensues; nearly 
the whole mixture is thrown out of the matrass with a kind of 
explosive violence ; and hardly any iodine is to be procured, even 
though the materials should have been saved by putting them 
into a very large vessel. On the other hand, should only one- 
half of the prescribed quantity of manganese be used, much hy- 
driodic acid rises along with the iodine, and washes it perpetually 
down the sides of the balloon. Or, if during the successful 
sublimation of iodine the weight of manganese be doubled, the 
violet vapours instantly cease. Neither sugar nor starch re- 
stores to the mixture the power of exhaling iodic vapour. 

A similar interruption of the process is occasioned by usmg an 
excess of sulphuric acid. For, if to the mixture of twelve ounces 
of saturated li(juid, and 1000 grains manganese, an additional 
half-ounce measure of sulphuric acid be poured in, the violet 
vapour disappears,and the sublimation of iodine is finally stopped.' 
Quicklime, added so «s to saturate the excess of sulphuric acid, 
does not renew the process. In these two different cases, iodic 
acid is probably formed by the too rapid and copious su[)ply of 
oxygen. For the due decomposition of hydriodic acid, the oxy- 
gen ought to be afforded merely in the quantity requisite to sa- 
turate it-i livdrogen. 

The bet subliming temperature is 232^ Fahr. ; though in open 
L 2 vessels 

164 Tliewems for determining 

vessels it readily evaporates at much lower degrees of heat, eveft 
at that of the atmosphere. When it is spread thin on a plate 
of glass, if the eye be brought into the same plane the violet 
vapour is discernible at I00'\ It evaporates slowly in the open 
air at 50° of Fahrenheit. When put into a phial closed with a 
common cork, the iodine soon disappears: it combines with 
the suljHtance of the cork, tingeing it brownish yellow, and ren-* 
derinq; it friable. 

240 grains of nitric acid, sp. gr. 1*490, saturate 1000 grains of 
the iodic liquid. Sulphurous acid is copiously exhaled as before. 
After filtration a bright golden-coloured liquid is obtained. On 
adding a little manganese to this liquid, iodine sublimes ; but 
the quantity procurable in this way is considerably less than by 
sulphuric acid. 

I am, &c. 
Anderson's Institution, Glasgow, ANDREW UrE. 

Aui;ust 29, 1817. 

XXV. Theorems for determining the Fnlues of increasing Lif0 
Annuities. By Mr. J. B. Benwell. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, -^ 1 HE following collection of theorems embraces an ex- 
tension of those communicated in a previous Number of your 
Magazine, being applicable to the valuation of life annuities in- 
creasing by certain orders of a constant numerical ratio. 

The several Life Assurance Companies established in the me- 
tropolis are occasionally in the liabit of granting annuities that 
increase by the scale of the natural numbers as well as the mul- 
tiples thereof, and vvhich anmiities may be either temporary or 
deferred; but, in respect I (presume) to those institutions which do 
not possess the proper and requisite aids (in conducting this branch 
of scientific research), it has been represented as a matter of much 
apparent doubt, whether the methods they pursue, in order to 
arrive at the supposed values in these and similar inquiries, be 
rigorously e.\act and unobjectionable, — a circumstance that 
imperiously requires elucidation, because it tends to militate 
against the avowed professions held out by them, of being guided 
by the pure and unerring principles of mathematical truth. It'is 
very probable that the practice of granting progressive life an- 
nuities might be rendered almost as general as any other species 
of contingent investment; and what seems chiefly essential ta 
the dissemination thereof, is a commodious and accurate formula 
for the solution of the most useful cases. But with the exception 
of one for finding the value of a life annuity, increasing according 


the Values of increasing Life ^niiuitles. 165 

to the common scale of notation, (as given in most treatises on 
the subject,) no others for this purpose, I believe, exist anywhere 
in print, but in the present work ; in regard to which I have only 
to observe, they are as simple and contise as the nature of the 
investigation would possibly admit: and as simplicity and ac- 
curacy «ere objects indispensably in view, so they have not been 
attained without some etforts of patience and perseverance. My 
studies are prosecuted under auspices the most unfavourable: I 
have to lament that my present situation but so ill accords with 
a disposition for scientific pursuits. 

The several formulas I shall enumerate will apply in the four 
following cases; viz. when the annuity increases in the order of 
the numbers (1.3.6. 10. 15) ( by the squares of 
this latter series, and also by the squares of the series (1. 2.3. 

Then in the first case the formula exhibiting the value of the 
annuity will be 

a— 1 —a 1 -a /2 + 3i— 1 "" — """ 

a«(jfi-x)s-6(a+l) + j-l.(a^ + 9a + 10)J + a:— l.(a^ + 3a + i>)T-V^ ^_^ 2.{x—x) + x-\.{\—x) + '2jf>- 

In the second; 

— a / 4 —a \ 

a.[x+ \) + {2i + 5 + x—\.(2<i+ ')i— { ^~f (•^— ■^) + '^- ) 

a.fx— !)'■' 

And for the two succeeding cases it will be respectively, 

—a 2 — a 2 s-a^e + 'Jx — 1 — a 

x)tI— l.a + (4.(Ga + 8) + x— l.(4a'' + 20a+ I7)x+ (r— 1 )(2a+ 1). xl——^A.{\—x) + l6.{x+\)+x—\. 
_ _____ 


1 -a. -a /Gx-{t-l.2a) _ 

■^~7-(6(a+I) + («»+ 6a + 7)* + a;— l-(a2 + 2n+l)x+a— l.x-V ('-- )^ {x—x) J 

— — ^-j . «. 

In each of the foregoing formulae x denotes the ratio or amount 
of one pound for a year ; and (a) the complement or double the 
expectation of human life, according as it is deduced from any 
assigned table of observations. 

The annuity may commence with the addition of some fixed 
annual payment, still increasing in the same order; as for instance 
( (11. 13. 15. 17), and so on, for the other series; 
and thus may be generated various forms of increasing annuities 
at pleasure. In tliis case the only difference will be. that we must 
augment the value previously obtained, by the value of such ad- 
ditional annuity on the given life for the total value required. 

If the annuity, being a deferred one, does not commence until 

a given period equal n. years, the quantity (a) must be deter- 

L 3 mined 

166 Theorems for determining the Values of Ufe Annuities. 

nilned accordingly; tliat is, from a life n years older ; and after tlxj 

iiroper substitution is made, the result afforded bv each particu- 
ar formula must be combined with the numerical value of the 
expression denoting the expectation of the given life receiving 
1/. 71 yeais hence for the value of the annuity in this case. 

Having thus found the value of an annuity deferred for Ji years, 
we may thence derive the vahie of a similar tem])orary annuity 
depending on the given life continuing so long in existence. 

I much wish that I could have represented these different 
formulas by others involving the combination of the equal 
single and joint lives. But in each particular instance here ad- 
duced this object could not well be accomplished. 

I shall here introduce the expressions for the sums of a few 
other series that occurred in the course of investigation, and 
which may 1 _■ found useful on some occasions. 

Let X represent 

{x—' + 5x~-\9x—^ + \3x^~^-{-\7x—''-{- {4n — 3)x—"). 

y ix—' + 5x—^-\- \2x- 3 4 22x— *-^3.5a;— 3) . . .{-I3?i^— 1 ).x-"~« ), 

' And,Z(a:— + 17x— ^ + 57^— ^ + 12Lr— •»+209j;— '+ .... 
(12/i= — 2U«+ 9)x ". Then will the general expression for \\\^ 
sum of each series be respectively^, 

4+x— 1 — « — « 

I — (1— j)— 4;(x 



(2 + 3t— I) ~n J —n-l -■^~' — ?2 

— TZZ\ *-' — x)+x + 3. — 1.(1 — x) — ("n + '2. (3n' + 5'i + '2)):v 

= ., ___-^ . 

(6 + 2x-l) -1 -n — 1 ~rn 

~^_l — .4.(t— .r)+ 16.ri+.r)+,r— 1 _ M(6?i + 2) +x— l.(I2',2 + 4f;+ !))(.' 

/j'ZS . __ . 

(x- 1)'^ 

In regard to the practical enunciation of the above theorems, 
and generally of any other for summing reciprocal series of this 
kind, where the terms of such series are very large, and the rate 
of increase also rapid; it may be observed, that the negative 
powers of (x) shoidd be expanded to a proportionally gveater ex- 
tent, in order to obtain a result perfectly accurate. 

The facility and marked attention vvitli which my preceding 
communications were inserted in the Philosophical Magazine, 
have encouraged me to a further prosecution of these subjects ; 
and I intend at a future opportunity (should I find means — incli- 
nation I possess) to furnish you with a paper embracing the 
discussion of some interesting and rather novel points in tho 
doctrine of life assurances, 

JlabcrriiislRTs-Plncc. HoMon, JaS. BeNJ, BeNWELL. 

Aug, 15; 1817. 

"Report of the Select Committee on Steam-Boats. 167 

P. S. Ill my former communication for April, when stating 
the equation which has (although improperly) been made the 
princi|jle anrl derivation of the common rule for equating of 
payments, I purposely withheld the following note, with some 
additional observations, but which circumstances have not ren- 
dered necessary : — still however the insertion of the note is essen- 
tial, as affording perhaps a more simple and decisive confirmation 
of the truth of the above rule. 

Since (I'.r.l) is the whole accretion derived by A. for the term 
(/), so collaterally will (a rJ) be diat derived by B. in the like in- 
terval. Now these objects being jointly effected by the rule (as they 
ought to be), we need only conceive x. to have such a value that 
lr,{t — x) the gain of B in {t—x) time shall equal (a.r.x) his 
loss by the detention of the sum (a) for the time x. Yet on the 
other band it may be urged, that (a.r.x), the gain on a in .x. time 
is equal ljr.(t—x) the loss on b. for (t—x); and therefore (h.r.t) 
the whole interest must be actually made in such time. Now thus 
equating interest with interest in place of discount certainly seems 
erroneous ; but discard the restriction imposed or applied in this 

case [that of (a + h) instead of (a+ — -\ being the sum in 

hand at the end of the first term] , the difficulty then vanishes, 
and the thing a])pears, what it really is, simply a deduction or 
corollary from the general expression and indicating an equality 
between those quantities, but which can have no absolute rela- 
tion to or dependence on the conditions constituting the right 
and interest which A has in the question. 

XXVI. Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider of 
the Means of preventing the Mischief of Exploiinn from hap- 
pening on board Steam- Boats, to the Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty's Subjects on board such Boats. 
[Continued from p. 100.] 

Mr. William Chapman's Evidence. 

W HAT is your profession, and place of abode ? — My profession 
is civil-engineer; my general place of abode is Newcastle-upon- 

Have you, as engineer, turned your attention to the construc- 
tion of steam-engines for steam-boats? — As to steam-boats I 
have not particularly; but I have been concerned in steam-en- 
gines of every description, from being connected with the col- 
lieries, where we have many engines. 

Have you any steam-boats upon the Tyne ?— We have. 
Have you been those steam-boats ?— Yes; 1 have, 

L 4 How 

163 Report of ike Select Committee 

How many have you? — I think it is three} but 1 have only 
been in one of them. 

Do you know the construction of the steam-boats employed 
upon the Tyne? — Low pressure condensing engines. 

Are you aware of any reason which would render it expedient 
to forbid the use of higli pressure engines on board steam-boats? 
— I look upon all engines, whether high pressure or low pressure, 
as dangerous to the passengers, unless due precaution be taken 
to emit the steam when exceeding a given pressure ; for in low 
pressure engines the boilers are always liable to burst or to alter 
their form, when the pressure becomes superior to the resistance j 
all boilers but those that are cylindrical in the section, and with 
hemispherical ends or portions of spheres or cones or conoids, 
are liable to alter the form by the natural expansive force of the 
steam, and therefore all boilers but of those forms owe their 
safety to their weakness ; because if weak tliey will alter their 
form without danger, and if strong, they have been known to 
bend the iron so abruptly as to break asunder. 

Are you speaking of wrought, or cast iron ? — I speak of wrought 
iron ; and consequently they explode, and in many instances have 
destroyed several of the passengers; they are so far more dan- 
gerous to the passengers that they frequently scald them, and do 
not actually kill them. There are a description of engines in use 
in the counties of Durham, Northumberland, Cuinherland, and 
\ork, that are termed loco-motive engines; the form of their 
boilers is cylindrical, with curved ends. 

Are those applicable to boats? — Certainly; they are high 
pressure engines working with a force of from fifty to sixty-five 
pounds per inch; and no accident has happened to any of them 
but to one, the safety valve of which was stopped by a man sitting 
upon it or holding it down purposely; he said, "We will have a 
good start and surprise them, we will go off so well ;" — the con- 
sequence, that the boHer blew up and killed and wounded a 
very considerable number of people ; I believe to the extent of 
forty-five, but I am not certain. 

Was that a cast- or a wrought-iron boiler ? — It was wrought 

Can yon suggest the means by which a high pressure engine 
can be rendered safe on board a vessel ?-T-^It can only be rendered 
safe by having the form of the boiler, such as I have described, 
and the cylindric part of a limited diameter, with a competent 
thickness of wrougbt metal, either iron or copper, and the plates 
secured to each other by a double line of rivets ; it is also re- 
quisite that there should be two safety-valves, each laden with 
any determinate weight per superficial inch of the narrowest part 
of the seat of the valve ; one of those valves should be at perfect 


on Steam-Boats. 16fi 

fiberty to be raised at the pleasure of the manager, because some- 
times it is expedient to raise it ; the other should be under a 
cover of such description as not to be opened at all, at the dis- 
cretion of the engineer, but with sufficient apertures for the 
emission of the steam, and for any of the passengers to see that 
the valve is not made fast. It is also requisite that there should be 
a mercurial gauge of not less than an inch in diameter, and whose 
longest limb shall not be greater than two inches and one-eighth 
for every pound per inch upon the safety-valve ; it is necessary, 
by occasional inspection, to take care that the mercury does not 
stiffen by oxidation, occasioned by the heat and motion to which 
it is in a slight degree liable. 

Do you conceive that a high pressure engine thus guarded 
might be used on board a steam -boat with safety to the passen- 
gers ? — Yes, so long as the boiler is kept in order ; but the boiler's 
bottom is liable to erode or consume by the action of the fire, 
and therefore requires watching. 

How long do you think a boiler would last under the action 
of fire ? — A boiler may last twelve months safely, provided its 
bottom be made of charcoal iron, beat not roiled, because there 
is a great deal of difference in the grain. 

Would you not always recommend a boiler to be made of 
wrought metal on board steam-boats ? — On board steam-boats 
I would recommend them all to be made either of copper or 
charcoal iron plates beat under the hammer and not rolled; the 
resistance of cylindric boilers will be in the inverse ratio of their 

[Mr. William Chapman was again called in on a future day, at 
his own request, and stated, that when he was asked as to loco- 
motive engines, he omitted to say that the diameter of their 
boiler was in general four feet, little more or less ; that many of 
them are formed of cast iron, and several of malleable iron, and 
that the ends of several of these latter are of cast iron curved 
outwards ; that in no one of them docs the fire act upon the ex- 
ternal part of the boiler, but is placed in a malleable iron tube 
which passes through the boiler ; a cast-iron boiler, however, 
being found far too heavy, the new loco-motive engines are al- 
ways supplied with malleaiile iron boilers.] 

Mr. Philip Taylor's Evidence. 
Will you be so good as to state what is your occupation ? — A 
manufacturing chemist. 

Where do you reside ? — At Bromley in Middlesex. 
You are conversant witli the nature of steam-engines? — My 
attention has been directed to the use of steam from a desire to 


J 70 Report of the Select Committee 

apply it in my own business, not as a moving power, birt for tlie 
purpose of conununicating heat to difrcrent fluids, for which pur- 
pose I have required high pressure steam. 1 have a patent for 
a mode of applying high pressure steam to vessels of the largest 
capacity; and as in this case all danger depends on the con- 
struction of the boiler, I should wish to say a little on those boilers 
which I have found to be the most trust-worthy. I come quite 
unprejudiced as to any material, and as to any form; for if I could 
meet with a boiler which would answer the purpose I have in 
view better than that now used by me, I would adopt it; there- 
fore I shall give the Committee only such facts as have come 
within my own immediate knowledge. 1 have no wish to re- 
commend any particular construction. 

Will you be so good as to state from your knowledge, what 
species of boiler for a liigh pressure engine you would recom- 
mend in regard to safety? — I consider the first and most mate^ 
rial point to attend to in the construction of high pressure boilers 
is, that the diameter of such boilers should be small in propor- 
tion to their capacity; and that as small a proportion of the 
external surface of the boiler as possible should be exposed to 
the destructive action of the fire ; and that the portion of the 
hoiler so exposed, should be so situated and guarded, that in case 
of explosion the least possible nnschief would arise. In those 
boilers which I have mad? use of, no portion of the boiler is ex- 
posed to the action of the fire without its being constantly co- 
vered with water ; and the fire is applied under an arch of not 
more than two feet and a half in diameter ; this provides against 
any extensive rent taking place in the event of explosion. The 
boilers I have generally employed are constructed of malleable 
iron, commonly known by the name of charcoal iron, riveted 
together and secured by strong vvrought-iron belts. From ob- 
serving the danger arising from the introduction of flat cast-iron 
ends, 1 have terminated the ends of tlie boilers by wrought-iron 
ones nearly hemispherical ; this mode of construction, as far as 
my experience goes, combines more strength and durability than 
any other. The precautions I have made use of to guard against 
the misuse of such boilers, have been by adapting to them two 
safety-valves ; one under the control of the engine-man, the 
other secured in a strong cast-iron case, locked down and loaded 
with such a vvcit;ht as would suffer the steam to escape when it 
had arrived at an improper degree of expansive force. In order 
to add to the security given by safety-valves, I have likewise \n 
every instance attached to the boiler a mercurial column, the 
bore of which is proportioned to the size of the boiler; and I 
should consider an iron tube of an inch diameter sufficient to, 


on Steam-Boats, 171 

guard against accident, when a)jplied to a boiler four feet \n, 
diameter and twenty feet in length, because the limit given by 
such a column has always been far within the limit of absolute 
safety. The length of the external limb of the mercurial gauge 
has in all cases been proportioned to the strength of the boilej; 
and the force to be applied, taking care that the expansive force 
of the steam would displace the mercury long before any dan- 
gerous expansive force would arise. In order to guard against 
the boiler's being injured by the action of the fire, from a de- 
ficient quantity of water in the boiler, I have inserted a leaden 
rivet in such a situation that it would nielt as soon as it was un- 
covered by the water, and produce an opening which would suf- 
fer the escape of the steam. Although I have made use of boilers 
of this construction, I consider cast-iron boilers safe, provided 
their various parts are made of small diameters in proportion to 
their capacity j such for instance as those constructed by Mr, 

From your knowledge of the subject, do you think you can 
take upon yourself to say, that a high pressure engine with a 
boiler constructed on the principles you have just now detailed, 
would be completely safe for the use of passage boats? — I 
think equally safe with those called condensing engines, because 
ji greater attention to strength is always paid in the construction 
of high pressure boilers than in the construction of low pressure 
boilers, in proportion to the pressure they have to sustain. 

Have not very great improvements Ijeen recently made in high 
pressure engines, by which the general mining and maiuifac- 
turing interests of the coimtry have been greatly benefited ? — I 
think very important ones : the high pressure engine, as con- 
structed by Mr. Woolf, employs not only the expansive force of 
the steam, but also that power which is acquired by its conden- 
sation ; and t!ie effect in Cornwall has been, that engines on this 
construction have done double tlie quantity of work with the 
8ame quantity of fuel. 

Does your own experience lead you to conclude, that the high 
pressure engine in general is less expensive in point of consurnpf 

tion of fuel ? — If well constructed they arc decidedly leconomical 

engines vvitli regard to the consumption of fuel. 

You mean then by this, that the advantage of the higli pres« 

Mire in point of ceconomy in fuel is not confined to engines of 

anyone particular construction? — Certainly; \ mean it is not 

so confined. 

Have yon any connexion whatever with Mr.WooU"? — None 

\vhatcvcr ; I am not personally known to him. 

Have you any reason to suppose that the high pressure stcamr 

engines are already arrived at the degree of perfection of which 


172 Heport of ihe Select Commillcc 

they are susceptible? — Certainly not; Mr. Woolf 's engine has 
been much simplified since its first invention, and my opinion is, 
it will be still further improved. 

You would then consider any measure which should teud to 
impede the use of high pressure engines to be injurious to the 
country? — Certainly, I should. 

Mr. Henry Maudeslav's Evidence. 

What is your profession ? — I am an engineer, residing at Lam- 

You construct steam-engines? — Yes, a great many. 

Are you at all acquainted with the circumstances attending 
the explosion of the steam-engine at Norwich ? — Yes, I am. 

Have you been there since this accident ? — No. 

Did you know the steam-boats there before the accident ?— 
Yes ; because I made a steam-boat for Yarmouth. 

Was the steam-boat you made, a high pressure or a low pres- 
sure enghie? — A low pressure engine. 

Will you be so good as to tell the Committee, what is your 
opinion with regard to the proper construction of those engines^ 
to secure the passengers on board those boats ? — I never consi- 
dered high pressure engines were applicable to boats, because 
the purpose of a high pressure engine is to save water, and water 
cannot be wanted on board a vessel ; the difference between the 
one and the other makes no saviuf^ either in the weight or expense, 
taking it ultimately, particularly when steam-boats are j)roperly 
contrived. As far as my opinion goes as to steam-engines and 
steam-boats, I would not go from here to Margate in a high 
pressure boat, because there are many reasons why that may be- 
come much more dangerous, and no more advantageous to the 
pubHc generally or to the individuals. A low pressure engine is 
of very high power ; a high pressure engine has a higher power 
in proportion to its height of steam. It is pretty well under- 
stood, that a gentleman who engages in a steam- boat company 
seldom attends to the engine himself, but leaves it to his men. 
I l)uilt the Regent steam-boat last summer with a low pressure 
engine ; there was a dispute between two men, and one of them 
ewore that he would blow his boiler up, but he would beat the 
Regent in coming up. The man certainly did exert himself as 
much as he cou'd,and kep this steam as high as he could get it, and 
it flew out of the safety-valve very frequently,and he hint his boiler 
materially from doing so, but he did not beat the Regent; but 
if it had been a high pressure engine, he would either have beat 
her or blown up his boiler, because he had the power in his own 

Had it been a high pressure engine, and the boiler properly 


bn Steam-Boats. u^ 

constructed, with sufficient safety-valves adapted to it, the ope- 
ration of which the man could not impede, would it have been 
liable to accident? — I feel some difficulty in answering such a 
question as that, because I am afraid that there are so many 
technical terms in engine- making, and reasons why safety-valves 
should be attended to, that I doubt whether tliey would not go 
to more evil by the man not having nccess to them than by theif 
being open to him. 

If there was one safety-valve which was not accessible to the 
engineer, and another which was, would not that danger Ije pre- 
vented ? — I would beg to explain, by saying, that on board the 
Regent, which has a large boiler, I found it necessary to have 
two safety-valves, and sometimes I put three safety-valves : to 
make it quite easy for the man to move the valve, I have a sort 
of bell-pull going down to the place where he stokes, to pull it 
up every hour if he pleases, to keep it in action, because it is 
clear the spindle may corrode and stick fast for want of use« 
Supposing it not touched once a week, it is not a safety-valve 
any longer, because a very little friction will add a great many 
])ounds weight to the opposition the steam ought to meet with. 

According to your experience and knowledge, would a low 
pressure engine be safe in most cases that can occur? — I never 
knew a low pressure engine unsafe, but it appears that high 
pressure engines have been. 

Would a high pressure engine, under the same circumstances, 
be equally safe ? — Certainly not. 

Do you conceive there is any difficidty in constructing a safety- 
valve in such a manner as that the engineer shall be able to keep 
it in constant fitness for its action, without having a power to 
fasten it down and prevent it from acting ? — I conceive that the 
same motive which would induce the engineer to work it with an 
improper pressure, would induce him to leave it untouched, that 
it might have an improper pressure. I beg to state, that there 
is not that difference between a high pressure and a low pressure 
engine, as to its power, that is generally supposed; because it is 
understood, that the steam in the boiler is kept at from four to 
six pounds upon the inch, but from two and a half to four iy 
quite abundant for any use a low prcssine engine can be wanted 
for: then, if an engine is in anv thing like working order, there 
is a vacuum formed bv the engine itself, by the construction, 
that causes an addition of ten pounds the inch. On the lowesc 
calculation, those two added together, make fourteen pounds; 
if you take high pressure steam at forty pounds the inch, you do 
not, in my opinion, get additional force in proportion to the risk 
incurred ; because we well know, that if the boiler be of cast 
iion, faults will unavoidably arise in casting which you cannoc 


1 74 Tieport of the Select Comnillee 

see, which cause explosions or breakings, and which could noth^ 
calculated upon. 

Is there any thing which prevents the engineer from fastening 
down or over-weighting the valves of a common condensing en- 
gine? — It would be folly for him to do so. 

Is there any thing which prevents him ? — Certainly not. 

Supposing the valves to be so fastened down, does not thd 
engine immediately become unsafe ? — Yes, certainly it must; but 
it would be folly to fasten it down, because, if the engineer be at 
all acquainted with his business, he niu?t know, that if the steam 
be raised beyond five or six pounds per inch in a condensing 
engine, the power of the engine will not thereby be at all in- 
creased ; the condensing- property of the engine does not consist 
in a higher pressure of steam. 

What is vour opinion as to the comparative safety of cast and 
wrought metal used in boilers? — I consider that wrought iron is 
eX'tremelv safe, compared to cast iron. 

Then at all events, it is yoiu* opinion, that in steam-boats 
boilers of wrought metal should be used in preference to cast ? 
—No doubt about it. 

Do you think there is any material difference between the use 
of copper and wrought iron ? — No, excepting in the greater de- 
gree of corrosion to which iron is liable. 

Are you aware of there being any considerable difference in 
the consumption of coals, necessary to produce any given power 
in condensing and high pressure engines ? — I consider that the 
one will work with as little coal as the other ; in all high pres- 
sure engines and condensing engines I have heard of, I find little 
or no difference, and those who have them tell me they burn as 
much coal in the high pressure engine as in the low pressure en-* 
gine. I have understood that Woolf's engine does save coal. 

Do vou know that to be the fact?' — I do not, because I never 
attended any experiments ; but I have heard it from so many 
people that I cannot but believe the fact is, they save coal. 

If a high pressure steam-engine had a wrought-metal boiler^ 
either of iron or copper, constructed by a competent engineer, 
with safety-valves in proper order, and a mercurial gauge, should 
you then think yourself in any danger in a steam-boat propelled 
by such an engine? — Certainly not, if a competent person had 
the superinteudence of ic. 

Mr. Alexander Galloway's Evidence. 
What is yoTvr profession and j)lace of abode ? — I am a me- 
chanist and engineer, residing in Holborn. 

Do you know any thing of that paper [showivg d paper to ike 
witness'] f — I have seen it. 


on Steam-'Boals. 175 


Do yoil know by whom it was published? — I do not know; I 
have heard it was done by the proprietors of some of the steam- 
boats ; the letter I wrote was sent to the Morning Chronicle j 
it was only within the last three days I saw it in that form. 

Have yen been employed at all in constructing steam-engines 
for steam-boats? — I have not. 

^^'ere you acquainted at all with the accident at Norwich ?— 
No ; but what I have heard. 

The object of tiiis Committee being to insure the safety of the 
passengers on board steam-boats, will you favour them with your 
opinion as an engineer, what means are best adapted to insure 
that safety? — I should certainly r^commeiul, that for steam- 
boats, the condensing engines should be used in preference to 
high pressure engines, and I will give you my reasons why I do 
so. In the first place, the great advantage that has been pro- 
mised from a high pressure engine is, that it can be worked in a 
situation wh.ere water cannot be procured, and therefore, imder 
this circumstance it is for such a situation a valuable machine ; 
but in situations where water can ])e readily procured, it is not 
so. And in reference to the comparative price between a high 
pressure engine and a low pressure engine, and in reference to 
the space that it occupies, and in reference to the superintendence 
that it requires, I am decidedly convinced no oeconomy is pro- 
duced. Speaking to it as a matter of safety, it will be necessary 
for me to say, that experience has fully proved, that the ma,\i- 
inum of force to be obtained by a condensing engine, is when 
the steam is rarefied from three to six pounds on the inch; the 
engine is I)y far more efficient than when the steam is rarefied 
up beyond ; and it will appear equally clear, that -.vhethcr it be 
a cast-iron boiler or a wrought-iron boiler, or a copper boiler, 
the force of the engine is better performed by steam at three 
pounds and a half, than it is at any increased expansive force; 
the boiler being subject only to three instead of six pounds. It 
must Ijeless liable to explode or burst at that than at an increased 
cxuansive force. I should further sav, that every man that is 
called to work a condensing steam-engine, knows, that when his 
steam is at three pounds and a half, it performs a greater (juan- 
tity of labour than at any other time ; for if you increase it you 
throw a vast labour on the air-pump and the condenser, and retard 
the eiigine : therefore, a man has no inducement to increase the 
expansive force of the steam, he knowing that no useful end can 
be obtained by so doing, but giving himself additional labour 
and con-jimiing more fuel, and performing less work. I should 
also wish to state, that I yesterday made a sketch of what ap- 
peared to nie to be a proper and efficient boiler for a steam- boat, 


Its Ueport of the Select Committee 

without reference to the character of the engine at all, whether 
it was a condensing or high pressure engine. All boilers cfti 
board steani-boats sliould have the fire in the interior of the 
boiler, because it is of very little importance, when vou are upon 
the subjec; of safety, whether the passengers are to be endangered 
by an explosion, or whether the vessel is to be weakened in its 
timbers or essential securities by the improper application of the 
fire to the boiler : therefore, I invariably recommend, that the 
fire should be contained in the interior of the boiler, and that 
there should be an additional safety-valve, which should be solely 
subject to the superintendence of the proprietor, and that the 
manager of the machine should have no possible access to it. 

That you mean to apply, whether high pressure or low pres- 
sure boilers are used? — Both; because I am quite aware, that 
if a boiler in a steam-boat is to have the fire to operate upon it 
externally, although you may not explode the engine, you may 
so far destroy the vessel that carries the engine by burning its 
timberii, without the knowledge of the individuals to whose care 
the boat is intrusted, as to be highly injurious and mischievous 
to the safety of the passengers. I sliould certainly recommend 
a wrought-metal boiler in preference to a cast-iron boiler; and 
the reason is clear, that the operation of casting, however skil- 
fully managed, is always an uncertain process. An occurrence 
took place a few days ago, which very much staggered me; I 
had a large press of cast iron, vvhich it was necessary to break 
up, and in the interior of a bar which was probably eight inches 
by twelve, there was a cavity in the centre of four inches dia- 
jneter, with no external communication. 

Do you think that a safety-valve may not be so constructed, 
as that its operation shall not be impeded in any degree by the 
aengineer to whose care the vessel is committed, and yet with a 
tolerable certainty of its operating to all its proper intents and 
purposes ? — If an additional safety-valve was applied to a boiler, 
and that safety-valve placed beyond the power of being inter- 
fered with by any person but the proprietor, then the boiler 
would be secure from explosion, if the safety-valve should be 
judiciously loaded ; but if that safety-valve was even placed be- 
yond the reach of the operator, and at the same time injudiciously 
Joaded, a calamity might take place the same as if no such se- 
curity existed. 

Allowing th; t luider all possible circumstances a condensing 
engine should be the most safe, what is your opinion as to the 
sufficient safety of a high pressure engine, of which the boiler and 
safety-valves should be constructed in the manner which you 
have just no\^ described ? — I should consider a high pressure en- 

on Steam-Boats. 177 

^ine, under such circumstances using the expansive force to 
forty pounds to the inch, and not beyond forty pounds, would 
be a safe and efficient engine. 

Under all the circumstances which at present exist in the ma- 
nufacture and management of a condensing and high pressure 
engine, with a view to the safety of passengers in a steam-boat, 
which of them would you recommend ?-~ijnder all the circum- 
stances of the case, I should most decidedly recommend a con- 
densing engine, a condensing engine with a wrought-iron boiler; 
because when cast iron becomes subject to high expansion and 
contraction, the constant repetition of these effects in a very 
great degree impairs the strength of the boiler. 

That mischief would not be incidental to a wrought-iron 
boiler ? — Certainly not. I should venture to sav, that all en- 
gines in',steani- boats should be subject to regulation and inspec- 
tion by competent persons ; — a steam-boat must have a register, 
and before such register should be granted, the engine should be 
inspected, to see whether it is of a character to deserve its being 
considered safe. 

\\ liat is your opinion as to the expediency of adding a mer- 
curial gauge ? — By no means do I consider it an efficient and 
convenient apparatus on board a boat ; it would be constantly in 
the way, and it would retjuiie a great column of mercury to make 
it safe ; and that such a quantity may be liable to do mischief if 
blown out. 

Has it ever happened to you, to form any calculation of the 
proportion which a mercurial gatige ought to bear to the dia- 
meter of a boiler? — I have not; but it will depend upon the 
expansive force to which the boiler is to be brought up, as well 
as to the ca])acity of the boiler; because, if you were to put a 
mercurial gauge to give merely the pressure on the boiler, that 
would not be adecjuate to cany off the quantity of steam that 
may be generated in a mischievous way. 

What is youi- opinion as to the comparative consumption of 
coals in condensing and high pressure engines, with respect to 
the work produced? — I am cpiite satisfied, that taking for granted 
that both engines were judiciously formed, the one would take 
as much fuel as the other, there would be no material saving, if 
any; but if you associate the two principles together, as in the 
case of Woolf 's engine, there will be a considcral)le saving ; unite 
the high pressure with a condensing engine, and there is a great 
saving, but in their abstract characters there is none. 

Mr. John Braithwaite's Evidence. 
What is your profession and place of abode ? — I reside in New 
Road, Fitzroy -square, and am an engine-maker and engineer. 
Vol. 50. No.233. Sept. 1817. M The 

178 Report of the Select Gommiilte 

The Conunittce being desired to report upoi»-the safety of 
steam-boats, and upon the safety only, they will be much obliged 
to you to communicate what you know upon the subject? — Re- 
specting high pressure steam, which I sliall confine myself to at 
this moment, I will engage to make a boiler, or direct one to be 
made, which I will defy any engineer or other person to blow up 
or burst ; and I have lately erected five boilers; and I am ready 
to prove to any gentleman, and even to any engineer, that they 
cannot destroy them. 

Upon what principle were those boilers constructed ? — ^Those 
boilers that I have fitted up, with the different apparatus for 
making them secure, were made of wrought iron ; but I do not 
mean to say cast-iron boilers cannot be made secure. I recom- 
mended to Mr. Martineau, for whom I erected them, that ?.s 
there had been an accident in his neighbourhood, he ought to 
have a boiler to bear three times the pressure he meant to put 
upon it ; and if it did bear that pressure, and they applied two 
safety-valves with a mercurial steam-gauge, properly weighted 
and adjusted (one of those safety-valves should be at the will of 
the person about the boiler, and the other no man should be 
able to get at), it would be impossible to explode a boiler of that 
description. J saw the boiler after it was exploded at Wellclose- 
square, and alsc^ conversed with one of the men that was saved, 
who told me, that he had carried an additional weight to put on 
the safety-valve just before it exploded, that the mercurial gauge 
there was pluffged up, so that it was useless: besides which, in- 
stead of the safety-valve being weighted equal to forty-five pounds, 
they added a double weight which increased it to ninety pounds 
weight upon an inch, and the boiler was very improperly made. 
I conceive that a steam-engine boiler, constructed as it ought to 
be constructed (I do not mean to say if you put a boiler into the 
hands of men not acquainted with it, without the proper safety- 
valves, there may not be danger) — but if properly constructed 
there is no danger. 

Would you not recommend on board steam-boats, wrought- 
metal boilers to be used in preference to cast ? — Certainly; I 
have made some discoveries myself in the boilers I have put up, 
which makes them perfectly safe. 

Do you know any thing respecting the comparative comsump- 
tion of coals in high and low pressure engines ? — Not from my 
own actual experience, only from what gentlemen have told me 
where 1 have done business. 

Mr. John Hall's Evidence. 
Wliere do you live ? — At Dartford. 

What are you by profession ? — An engineer and millwright. 



on Steam-Boats. 179 

Have you given any attention to the construction of engines 
for steam-boats ? — I never have ; I have made steam-engines, 
but not for steam -boats. 

The object of this Committee being to inquire into the con- 
struction of engines for steam-boats for tlie safety of passengers, 
have you any thing to communicate to the Committee on that 
suliject? — I have only to observe, that I make them in cast iron, 
and I have proved them by an hydraulic press made for the pur- 
pose, and have gone as hi^h as 250 pounds to an inch, and that 
I considered enough ; nothing happened ; and I mean the next 
time to try what they will bear, and I have no doubt they will 
bear from 700 to 1000 pounds to an inch, for I believe they can 
be made now stronger than wrought-iron boilers ; vvrought-iron 
boilers being riveted together, cannot be so strong as those east 
in a solid mass. 

May not there be some imperfection in cast iron, which may 
not be discoverable without an accident happening? — It is 
scarcely possible, if it undergoes the trial I speak of by pressure 
before it is put to work. 

May not that trial to which it may be exposed, though no ac- 
cident happens immediately from the trial, be injurious to the 
boiler itself? — If it is made so as to be strong enough to stand 
the pressure of 500 pounds upon the inch when it only wants 
fifty, I suppose that proves it to be quite out of danger. 

Are you aware that there is a difference between trial made by 
water-pressure at a certain temperature, and the exposure dS 
cast iron to the action of fire repeatedly, by which the metal 
is heated to a very high degree, and consequently expanded and 
then cooled again down to a temperature very far indeed below 
that which it was before exposed to? — I have seen the effect of 
that ; a boiler I have made has been composed of three tubes, 
one a large one and two smaller ones below ; those lower tubes 
which are exposed most to the fire have cracked generally by 
cooling after the engine has done working ; I have known that 
in three or four instances; perhaps, in an hour after the engine 
has done working, the tubes below have cracked and the other 

Are you not aware that the tubes which were so cracked by 
the application of fire, might have stood the water-pressure of 
which you before spoke, to almost any conceivable amount ?— 
Yes, I suppose they would. 

In case of explosion, — which would produce the greatest mis- 
chief, that of a cast or of a wrought-iron boiler ? — I suppose the 
greatest danger would be in the wrought-iron boiler. 

For what reason ? — Because the cast iron uniformly cracks at 
the bottom underneath the large part of the boiler 3 the bottom 

M 2 tubes. 

ISO "Report of the Select Commilles 

tubes have cracked on the under side, so that the water weiit 

Did you never hear of any instance where a cast iron boiler 
has exploded in another way ? — I have heard of the late misfor- 
tune at Norwich, and that has been sufficiently accounted for to 
me, by its being made so very improperly. 

Have not you heard of other instances of cast-iron boilers ex- 
ploding ? — I believe only one. 

Is not a cast-iron boiler liable to be exploded in fragments ' 
— I should think it would never happen, if it w as made as cast- 
iron boilers ought to be made; J suppose we might make a cast- 
iron boiler that would explode^ and go to pieces in that way, if 
it was done on purpose. 

Have you any other suggestions to make to the Committee ? 
— As to safetv-valves, they may be made as safe as can be con- 
ceived of, because they will let the steam escape when it is of an 
improper height, and these engines I am making will save in fuel 
ve.-y materially; they are on Woolf's principle; they will save 
two-fifths of the fuel. 

Is it not easy to adjust a safety-valve to a boiler, which shall 
uot be accessible to the engineer directing the machinery, which 
shall sufficiently protect the boiler from mischief? — Yes, it is 
quite practicable. 

And so to adjust it that it will always act ? — Once adjusted it 
will always act, and always be to be depended upon. 

Then you would recommend, in any boiler, such a safety- 
valve to be employed ? — Certainly. 

Besides another under the direction of the man who works the 
engine ? — Yes. 

Mr. Alexander Tilloch's Evidence. 

Will you state where you reside? — At Islington. 

And what is your profession? — I am editor of the Philosophical 
Magazine, and sometimes I am called on to act as an engineer ; 
and I am editor and proprietor of the Star newspaper. 

Will you be so good, as you know the object for which we are 
met, with regard to the safety of persons in steam-boats, to men- 
tion what suggestions you have to make to the Committee on 
the subject? — My opinion is, that attending to what should be 
attended to in every steam-engine, and employing proper en- 
gineers, a steam-engine would be perfectly safe, whether with 
high i)ressure or low pressure. The boilers ought always to be 
furnished with safety-valves ; and if they suspect the possibility 
of having a stupid man, one of the valves should be covered and 
out of his reach with a box over it, but perforated so that you 
may see when the steam operates on it. A mercurial valve is 



on Sitenm-Boais. 181 

also very good ; that is an inverted siphon, with a column of 
mercury proportioned to the purposes for which it is to be era- 

Do you apprehend much danger to arise, in case of explosion, 
from that mercury if it was employed? — No, because the tube is 
always perpendicular, and if the mercury shoots out, it goes away 
and falls down in rain; I am of opinion, a boiler mav be made 
safe either of wrought or cast iron, but for great strain 1 would 
prefer cast iron, contrary to the opinion of many people, and the 
reason I would prefer it is the same for which it is preferred in 
making cannon. It is not possible to get tliick plates of wrought 
iron perfect throughout, and you trust at last to rivets in joining 
them, but cast-iron boilers can be made of any strength you 
please; instead^ of having a boiler that will stand sixty, it may- 
be made to stand six hundred, of either wrought or cast iron. 
Another reason why I would prefer cast iron is, that the sheet 
iron corrodes much quicker and destroys by oxidation, so that a 
boiler may be safe when first set up and stand its proof, but very 
soon become unserviceable, or at least comparatively so. Boilers 
should always be cylindrical tubes, and for an obvious reason, 
capacity should be' got by length and number rather than by 
diameter. There is no more" danger to be apprehended from 
steam as to bursting, than from the employment of condensed 
air, only that the water may scald ; but as to the danger of the 
fragments being scattered about, it is the same with air as with 
steam, and yet all the engineers constantly employ cast-iron re- 
ceivers, condensers, or air-vessels where pressure is wanted. 

Is not cast non liable to suffer some material injury from the 
contraction and expansion by heat and subsequent cooling ? — 
Whether a boiler be made of wrought or of cast iron the metal 
expands and contracts, awd expansion or contraction is more or 
less injurious in proportion as it is often repeated, but it does not 
prejudice a boiler made of cast more than one made of wrought 

Is not it more injurious to cast than wrought-iron boilers ? — 
No, I do not think it is. 

In case of accident by ex[)losion in a cast and wrought-iron 
boiler, which, in your 'o|)inion, would be attended with the 
greatest mischief to the persons about it? — If an actual explo- 
sion takes place, I sh;uild tliink from the cast iron ; but I con- 
ceive that a properly constructed cast-iron boiler would be 
stronger, and therefore would not explode so soon. A boiler 
should be proved with cold water, if it is to be applied to high 

Are you not aware that cast iron, notwithstanding the greatest 
possible attention of the founder, is Uable to cavities in the in- 

M 3 terior 

182 Memoir of Abraham Gotlloh IVerner, 

terior substance of the metal, which renders it uncertain when 
exposed to great degrees of heat ? — There may be cavities m cast 
iron, but a boiler being proved to a strain beyond that it is to 
be exposed to by heat, the safety of the boiler is secured ; for 
the temperature never can be at that point which will endanger 
a fracture from that circumstance. 

Do you mean by that answer, to say that the rarefa,ction of 
the air in that cavity may not be so great by the heat as to oc- 
casion its bursting ? — It never can, because the air that produced 
that cavity was at a white heat at the time the iron closed upon 
it, and it never can be brought to such a heat in working a 
boiler; — my opinion is, that by a very high proof at the com- 
mencement, and attention to it, you may always have a safe 
boiler of cast iron. 

[To be continued.] 

XXVII. Memoir o/'Abraham Gottlob Werner, late Professor 
of Mineralogy at Frieberg*. 

xiBRAHAM Gottlob Werner was born on the 25th of Sep- 
tember 1750. His father, who was inspector of an iron-work 
at Wehrau, on the Quciss, in Upper Lusatia, intended him from 
his early youth for a similar vocation. He first went to school 
at Bunzlau, v/here he received however but very scanty instruc- 
tion. In order fully to qualify himself for his intended pro- 
fession, he went first for some years to the Mineralogical Aca- 
demy at Frieberg, and then to the University of Leipsig, where 
he applied himself to the study of natural history more than to 
that of jurisprudence ; and in respect to the former used to boast 
in later years of his intimacy with two distinguished naturalists 
of Leipsig, Mr. .John Charles Gohler, and his brother John Sa- 
muel Traugott Gehler. Even while at the University he em- 
j)loyed himself on the doctrine of the external characteristics of 
fossils, in which a singular quickness of perception was of great 
use to him ; and published there, in the year 1 77-i, the well- 
known work (on the external characteristics of fossils) which is 
still considered as the basis of his whole oryktognosis, but of 
which he could never be induced to print a new and enlarged 
edition, because he feared disputes, and had not in fact con- 
cluded his researches. Soon after he was invited to Frieberg, 
to have the care of the cabinet of natural history there, and to 
read lectures upon it. Here his mind, which was early exercised 
in observation and classification, found the most welcome ma- 
terials. Here, daily extending the bounds of his science, and 

* From The Literary Gazette. 


late Profesior of Miveralogy at Frieherg, 183 

supporting its foundation by the surest external distinctive marks, 
he formed that system which, afterwards embracing also the 
gf.ognosis which was jieculiarly liis own, and forming an intimate 
connexion with all branches of tlie art of mining, gradually con- 
quered all opposition, and raised its inventor to rhe rank of the 
creator of a new mineralogv, which might be supported and ex- 
tended, but not rendered useless by the crystallographic theory 
of Ha'iy, and the chemical theory of Vauciuelin and others. His 
peculiar talent for observation was animated by the most lively 
fancy, assisted by the most extensive reading in every branch of 
knovyledge connected with his own, and excited by dailv inter- 
course with ingenious travellers and foreigners, who chiefly vi- 
sited Fiieberg on Werner's account, (We may instance only 
the Englishman Hawkins.) The classification in genera and 
•species, and for the most part ingenious appellations of minerals 
down to the newest egroii, is peculiarly his. " Werner," says 
Leonhard, in his eloquent lecture on the state of mineralogy, 
'^ was for the doctrine of the recognition of simple fossils, em- 
bracing with uncommon ingenuity all the experience of his age, 
what Winckelmann had been to the arts. What, before him, 
were all the endeavours of Wallerius and Linnaeus !" How soon 
was he obliged to give up Cronstedt, who is no where satisfac- 
tory ! Only too scrupulous, conscientiousness prevented him 
from publishing the oryktognostical tables, which have been 
finished, and quite ready for the press these four years. The 
attempt of the ingenious Berzelius, of Stockholm, at classifica- 
tion by discovering the laws of combination of the elements, did 
not indeed shake his belief in the method of recognition by means 
of the external characteristics ; yet he at last thought that a 
mutual conciliation was possible, and reserved the first analysis 
of the latest writings of Berzelius, for the next winter. Block's 
work was known to him. He approved of his ingenious scholar's 
(G, H. Schubert's) essavs {Aussleichungsversuclie). In the 
geognosis, first systematically deduced by him from the rough 
mass, crystalline structure, and the chemical relations of the 
contents, may be called in, together with the ties of external af- 
finity; hut the method created by Werner is the only satisfactory 
one, however much may yet be wanting to it, to become a com- 
plete system of the earth. His predecessor Charpentier's doubts 
respecting Werner's theory Iiave never been able to shake it. 
His idea of formations, one. of the most fruitful of consequences, 
and the most ingenious, in Werner's geognosis, has been ad- 
mirably developed by his scholar Steffens in Breslau ; and his 
formation of the floetz mountains of Thuringen, well supported 
by the excellent Von Freicslcben, in the theory of the copper-slate 
mountain {Kupferschkfergelirge). Werner sustaiutd an obs- 
M 4 tin ate. 

184 Memoir of Abraham Gottlol Werner, 

tinate, but for that reason the more honourable contest with the 
volcanists. Now, no well-informed person will consider the ba- 
salt and other fleetz mountains as of volcanic origin. Werner's 
theory of the older and newer formation of mountains, by the 
waters, stands immoveable; and a satisfactory link between them 
is afforded in the movuitains of the interval of transition. Even 
the new chemical discoveries of the kaUmelals may be made to 
accord with it. Another science, Mining, on which Werner used 
also to lecture, was rendered extremely clear to the attentive 
scholar, by his luminous explanation and by the reduction of the 
most complicated machinery to the most simple propositions, at 
the same time drawing all the figures on his table. Indefatigable 
application, insatiable thirst of knowledge, enriched his retentive 
memory with every thing that history and philology, in the most 
extensive sense, can offer to the attentive inquirer. No science 
was foreign to him. All served as a basis to his studies, which 
were constantly directed to natural philosophy, and the know- 
ledge of the earth and its inhabitants. He always advanced be- 
fore his age, and often knew what others only presumed. After 
1779 and I7SO, when he first lectured on oryktognosis and 
geognosis, at Frieberg, he was heard with gratitude by scholars 
from all parts of Europe. Never contented with what was dis- 
covered, always seeking something new, he rather formed 
scholars who wrote than wrote himself. But many MSS. almost 
wholly ready for the press are included in his fine library, collec- 
tion of coins and MSS. bequeathed on the day of his death to 
the Mineralogical Academy, for 5000 crowns. In his lectures 
he had only heads of the subject before him. In lecturing he 
used to abandon himself, as he was accustomed to say, to the 
inspiration of his mineralogical muse; and when his spirit ho- 
vered over the waters and the strata, he often became animated 
with lofty entliusiasm. But he caused his lectures to be written 
out by approved scholars; and by revising himself what they had 
thus written after him, made it, properly speaking, a MS. A 
great many parts of his lectures have been made public by others, 
among which may be reckoned what Andic, at Brunn in Mo- 
ravia, has published in the valual)le journal Hesperus. But no- 
thing bears the confirmation of the seal of the master. What is 
particularly desirable is the publication of his manuscript on 
Mineralogical Geography (which he only once drew up for a 
particular lecture), and upon the Literature of Mineralogy, in 
which he solved the difficulties of the ancient classic mineralogy, 
and gave incomjjarable illustrations of Pliny's Natural History. 
He was like a father to all his scholars, to whom he was a mo- 
del not only as a man of science, but as a moral character. 
Having filled, from the year 1792, a high situation in the Council 


late Vrofessor of Mineralogy at Frielerg. \ S5 

of the Mines, he had a great share in the direction both of the 
Mineralogical Academy and of the administration in general. 
Two things must be mentioned here with particular honour — the 
works begun in 17S6, to furnish a great part of the deeper mines 
with water, in order to get water for driving the wheels. This 
astonishing acjueduct, particularly the artificial canal of Doer- 
renthal, witli its subterraneous bricked channels, already extend- 
ing above a league, are in the main due to him, though Scheuch- 
ler made the plan, and Lampe the calculations. By the con- 
tinued support of the ever active king of Saxony, this great work 
still proceeds in the most prosperous manner. The Amalgama- 
tion works, twice built bv the excellent Charpentier, chief of the 
Council of the Mines, (the first building was maliciously burnt 
down,) and for ever secured by most ingenious fire-engines from 
similar accidents, are indeed unique: — a miracle to all who be- 
hold them, and a jewel in the crown of the Saxon art of mining, 
and of the unostentatious ejieroy with which the sovereign of 
Saxonv caused the most expensive undertakings to be executed 
in silence. Less known and visited by foreigners, though on it 
depends the continuation of the mining in Saxonv, is this un- 
dertaking of canals and aqueducts, which has already cost above 
half a million of crowns, and on which more than a thousand 
men are employed. The mineralogical survey and description 
of all Saxony, divided into districts, which has been prosecuted 
for these twenty years, under scholars of Werner, and includes 
the forest of Thuringen, and even a part of the Harz, uniting 
too with the mountains on the frontiers of Bohemia and Silesia, 
will one day give our country a mineralogical map, which for 
exactness and extent surpasses what any other country can pro- 
duce. This too was Werner's work, and was constantly directed 
by hirn in the most attentive manner. In his visits to Prague 
and Vienna, he found means to interest the Austrian government 
in these mineralogical surveys; and it is to be hoped that the en- 
lightened Bavarian goveriunent, as well as the direction of the 
mines in the Prussian monarchy under Werner's grateful scholars 
in Berlin and Silesia, will readily contribute to support and com- 
plete the great work which Werner so happily set on foot. In 
I'^ngland and Scotland excellent mineralogical maps of single 
counties have lately been pul>lished according to Werner's ideas. 
His cabinet of minerals, unrivalled in completeness and scientific 
arrangement, and consisting of above 100,000 specimens, has 
become, in consideration of a life aimuity, the amount of which 
devolves to the Institution itself, the property of the Frieberg 
Minera'Jogical Academy. Werner's favourite pupil Koehler iR 
appointed inspector of it. Werner had received from England 
ail oflTer of 50/JOO crowns for it. He sold it to his country for 


i86 Memoir of Abraham Gottloh IVerner, 

40,000, of which he reserved the interest of 33,000 as an an- 
nuity; but made the condition, that after his own death, and 
that of his only sister, who is without children, the interest should 
continue to be aiuuiially paid to the JVIineralogieal Academy; so 
that this, his only daughter, as it may be called, obtains an ad- 
ditional annual income of 1600 crowns, 

Werner's literary studies, hke his mind, embraced every branch 
of science. Every thing excited his thirst of knowledge, and 
thus it often happened that he dedicated all his attcntipn to re- 
searches which seemed to lie entirely out of liis sphere. Kis in- 
quiries into the direction of the mountains of the first and second 
formation, led him to the seat and the migrations of the aboriginal 
tribes and their branches. To this were soon joined inquiries into 
the original languages and radical syllables, which he prosecuted 
with the greatest acutcness, and reduced into tables. Soon 
arose an universal glossary of all the radical syllables and cha- 
racteristic sounds, in all the languages with which he was ac^ 
quaintcd ; which he studied with ardour, and to complete his 
knowledge of which, he purchased the most expensive works ; 
thus he gave sixty crowns for Ilickes' Thesaurus, and but lately 
eighty crowns for Walton's great Polyglot. His antiquarian re- 
searches into the mineralogy of the ancients made hnn a pas- 
sionate friend of archreology, and the most costly works an that 
subject were pvnchased bv him. One branch of archccology, the 
luunismatologv of the ancients, haditecome so favourite a puri 
suit with him during the last eight years of his life, that he pur- 
chased entire collections of medals, and in a short time was in 
possession of above 6000 ancient Greek and Roman coins: this 
enabled him to make interesting researches into tho different 
mixtures of the metals, and on the arts of adulteration; and in 
order to make all more clear, he arranged entire series of false 
coins. An miedited silver coin of his collection, which he gave 
to the great connoisseur Catauro, in Milan, is still the subject of 
a numismatic controversy between the Vienna and Italian con- 
noisseurs. Tlie examination, which was to be printed, was in- 
tended to be dedicated to Werner. The practice which he had 
had in stndving the direction of the mountains and the surface 
of the earth, made him an excellent judge of ground, and in- 
spired liim with a great fondness for military tactics. He studied 
the art of war with great diligence, read the accounts given by 
masters in this branch, and acquired a fine collection of military 
books. O.'ficers of the engineers and general staff were surprised 
to hear him speak of the mistakes committed by the allies from 
want of due knowledge of the ground, in their attack upon 
Dresden in August 1813, where he happened to be present. His 
name was mentioned at the head quarters of the allied so\'ere)gns 


lale Professor of Mineralogy at Friderg. 1 87 

at Frankfort, and he was invited to repair thither ; but his in- 
flexible attachment to !iis king made him decHne llie invitation. 
Medicine also attracted his attention, at first as lying in the cir- 
cle of the sciences connected with natural history, but afterwards 
in the latter years of his life, that he might be enabled to judge 
of the bodily suflFerings of himself and others; so that medical 
books were his favourite reading", and conversation on medical 
subjects what he preferred to every other. Ever ready to afford 
assistance, he was happy, vvhen""he visited a sick friend, to be 
able to give medical advice, and also to judge of his own situa- 
tion which he often thought precarious. The danger of such 
an inclination, which can never lead to any thing further 
than empiricism, is evident. His best friends, among whom we 
may reckon the veteran of the healing art. the venerable Dr. 
Kapp, at Dresden, sonietiijnes reproved him for this ; but it re- 
iTiained his favourite hobby-horse. He had made a very witty 
table of diseases according to the stages of human life, from in- 
fancv to old age: he was a sworn enemy to vinegar and all kinds 
of milk diet, Init a determined beef-eater. In other respects he 
lived very temperately, drank but little wine, and was especially 
and anxiously careful about warm clothing and warm rooms. He 
first visited Carlsbad, when a boy of only fourteen years of age, 
and had since been there fortv-one times. Here, even in the 
latest part of the a\itumn, he always acquired new strength. 
Had not imperious circumstances hindered him this time from 
visiting sooner the salutary fountain, which had become abso- 
lutely necessarv to him, he would perhaps have still lived. He 
was fond of travelling, and spoke with emotion and pleasure of 
his visit to Paris in 1802, where he was received with the greatest 
respect. Though not indifferent to external distinctions, to the 
diplomas of foreign academies and learned societies, he never 
sought or asked for them, and in conversation never attached any 
value to them. However, he was justly proud of being a mem- 
ber of the Institute of France, and of the Wernerian Society in 
England. Even on his death-bed helearntwith joy from his former 
pupil and faithful friend the Professor of Natural History at 
Edinburgh (Jamieson), that not only several mineralogical so- 
cieties floutished in Great Britain, but that professorships of 
mineralogy on Werner's principles were founded at Oxford, 
Cambridge, London, Glasgow, Cork, Dublin, and Belfast. At 
his suggestion a union of friends of natural philosophy and mi- 
neralogy was formed last winter in Dresden, where Werner him- 
self presided. He was in the best sense of the expression a citi- 
zen of the world. Every newspaper that he read, excited in 
him a pious wisti for the happiness of mankind, for truth and 
justice. In the last days of his life, his eye was most fre(|uently 


18S Memoir of Abraltam Gottlol Wemer. 

directed to the Brasils, where the excellent Oranjo was his friend, 
and many Germans now employed there his scholars. In his 
thoughts he followed every traveller, and put questions to him, 
in his own mind, such as Michaelis once wrote for Niebuhr and 
Forskael. His house was the constant rendezvous of curious 
travellers, from all countries and of all ranks ; and he showed 
to them all, with uncommon patience and attention, his museum, 
and especially his collection of precious stones, which excites 
stirprise by the value and variety of the specimens. He did not, 
hovVever, like writing letters, because he preferred personal in- 
tercourse to every thing, and dreaded a loss of time. This dis- 
interested participation, in whatever promoted in any country 
the interests of knowledge and humanity, did not hinder him 
from being the most faithful son of his own country, the most 
loyal reverer of his king. He refused every invitation from 
abroad, (and he received at an early period several very brilliant 
and enticing ones,) and was for many years contented with a 
very moderate salary, supporting himself by private lectures. 
He made presents to all the academics and public schools of 
Saxony, and endeavoured by this means every where to excite a 
predilection for natural philosophy. Those who w-ere most inti- 
mately connected with him, enjoyed his tenderest interest and 
care. — " In his house," said Boettiger, in his farewell address on 
the eminence of Gorbitz, " company daily assembled for his ad- 
vice; and the same hand with which he felt the pulse of nature, 
raised and supported every unfortunate. His simple manners, 
his cordial cheerfulness, and his social playfulness, made him the 
favourite of his fellow-citizens^ When Werner entered, every 
countenance brightened ; the women, too, loved the company of 
a man yvho, without insipid compliments, always had something- 
delicate and entertaining to say to them. In his earlier years 
his feeling heart would doubtless have made him highly suscepti- 
ble of enjoying the sweets of domestic life ; but he did not find 
what he sought. In later years he renounced the idea of them, 
out of love to science, and was fully indemnified by the cordial 
attarhment of his pupils and friends. Penetrated with that true 
devotion which worships God in spirit and in truth, he often 
preached to his pupils the purest morality, which he confirmed 
hy his own example; and even in his lectures often rose with 
genuine enthus'asm from the miracles of nature to their Divine 
Author. — Such yvas the man of whom his contemporaries and 
his country will be always proud ; a man equally distinguished 
hy his rare learning, and by his goodness of heart and unspotted 
character. How just is the grief caused by such a loss! His 
fairest monument is the gratitude of his pupils, who are spread 
ovtr all the countries of the world. But his doctrines and his 


Preface to " The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom" 1 89 

life will not fail of public acknowledgement and praise. This 
tribute will be given hiin from France, England, and Italy. 
Neither must the tongue of his pupils in Germany be mute. 
May Von Leonhard dedicate to him his second lecture in the 
Academy at Munich ! May Steffens,Ullmann, Hausmann, Mohs, 
Moll, Linke, and Weiss, and above all the feeling Schubert, speak 
of him ! May (lilijert, who defended him against the violent 
Cheuevix, erect a memorial to him in his Annals! — Nor can we 
doubt but some monument of marble or bronze will be raised to 
his memory, to which Britisli gratitude and generosity will gladly 
subscribe, and Fi ieberg afford a suitable situation to be inclosed 
for the purpose. For tlie present we hope that Bohme, or 
Buchhorn, will engrave the fine portrait of him, by G. Von Ku- 
gelchen, in Dresden, which was intended for his museum, for 
the satisfaction of his numerous scholars and friends. His most 
glorious monument, however, will always be the Mineralogical 
Academy, preserved in uninterrupted activity by his worthy 
scholars ; that academy which he himself sometimes called his 
beloved daughter, and richly endowed; those who go thither 
on a pilgrimage, those who there receive instruction, will pay 
continued homage to the manes of Werner. 

XXVIII. Preface to '^The Natural History oftheMhieralKivg- 
dovi. By .John Williams, Mineral Surveyor, F.S.S./l."* 

VJREAT Britain has long ago been called a fortunate island ; 
and it must be acknowledged that the appellation is as proper 
to Britain as to any other island or country in the world. The 
soil of this island is adapted to produce excellent grain and fruits. 
Her downs and verdant hills are covered with store of the best 
of sheep, which yield excellent fleeces for our manufactures, as 
well as food for our tables. Numerous herds of beeves are fed 
upon her mountains and in her meadows, and her seas and rivers 
abound in the most delicious fish. The climate of this island is 
mild and healthy; her mountains breathe the purest Jiir, and 
abound in the sweetest springs, and her valleys are washed and 
f«rtiiized by pure and limpid streams. 

This fortunate island is placed almost in the centre of the ha- 
bitable world, with free and ready egress to the Mediterranean, 
the Baltic, the East and West Indies, and all other seas to the 
Hcjuth and north ; — the most convenient situation for extensive 

* Sec la(.t Number of Pliil. Mag. ait. If. 


1 90 Ptfface to " The Natural Hhlunj 

commerce, which is greatly facilitated bv the safety an<l prodi- 
gious extent of lier sea-coasts, the depth and numbers of her 
rivers, and tlie depth and numbers of her bavs and sinuses all 
round the island. — Her forests produce the hardiest oaks for 
ship-building, and her sea-ports the best and hardiest sailors, who 
are in a manner bred upon the water ; and no island in the world 
ever yet arrived at such commercial euiinence, and, in conse- 
quence, at such a height of power, wealth, and grandeur. 

But it is not all the external productions of this island put to- 
gether, favoured as she is by the goodness of her soil and situa- 
tion, and as-sisted bv the excellence of her constitution, and the 
utnmst exertion of the genius of her sons, that ever was, or ever 
will be able to raise her to such a height of power and wealth, 
or to such commercial and political consequence in the world. 
The soil of some other countries is as good as that of Britain, 
The island of Sicilv produces as excellent grain and better fruits, 
and some parts of Spain as good, if not better fleeces. But Bri- 
tain has other valuable sources of commerce and wealth. The 
materials of many of the various and extensive manufactures of 
the island, are derived from the bowels of the earth, from her 
plentiful mines and coal-works. 

This is the source of the materials of our most numerous and 
extensive manufactures, and of the utensils of them all ; and it 
is our manufactures that fill and extend the channels of com- 
merce, and bring home our wealth from afar. 

This island is a nursery of arts, as well as of manufactures and 

It is a curious and entertaining amusement to reflect upon the 
connexion and dependence of the arts upon one another, and 
upon the improvements and advances of society in a polished 
commercial co\mtry. A man of genius and of judgement, equal 
to the task, with a stock of information and scope of thought 
like Raynal, who would wrilc a book to show us the progress 
and improvements of the useful arts, the aera of remarkable dis- 
coveries and their effects, and the influence which the improve- 
ments of the useful arts have upon the commercial and political 
state of the nation, and of the world in general, would deserve 
the thanks of his country for the extensive information, useful 
instruction, and national entertainment which his book would 
afford . 

Perhaps it would then appear, that the great quantity and va- 
riety of metal which this island produces has more influence upen 
the commerce, wealth, and power of the nation than we are ac- 
customed to imagine at present. But as I have neither abilities ' 
nor materials for such inquiries, I will leave them to be investi- 

of the Mineral Kingdom.'^ 191 

gsted by such as are equal to the task. This much, however, ap- 
pears very obvious to me, that great numbers are pi-ofitablv em- 
ployed in our mines, and in conveying the metals out of the nation; 
thai the value of these metals, whether raw or maiuifactured, is 
all clear gain to the nation ; that still greater numbers are em- 
ployed to work upon the metals for all useful and ornamental 
connnoditics, and for all utensils, trades, and arts. 

^Vhat is done without the metals ? Look into the kitchens 
and buffets of the great and wealthy: what profusion! And yet 
all for use. When we pass through Cheapside in London, one 
might imagine that all the metal of the world was furbished up 
and arranged there for his inspection; and yet it is in some pro- 
portion equally plentiful every where. The utility of the metals 
is analogous to their abundance. The mathematical-instrument- 
maker does but little without them, and much is used by the 
blacksmith, whitesmith, coppersmith, pewterer, tin-plate worker, 
coachmaker, cabinet-maker, clockmaker, silversmith, engraver, 
printer, &c. The quantities used by the various sorts of found- 
ers, and the plumbers, are immense. 

But if you would wish to have a full and comprehensive view 
of the profusion and great utility of the metals, step into the work- 
shops and warehouses of Birmingham. How many thousands 
are there at work ! What amazing quantities of wrought goods 
are stored there ready for exportation and home consumption ! 
There you will see them busied in making all that is worn of 
metal by the lady and her maid, the clown and the beau, the 
horse and his rider, both for ornament and real use ; and their 
warehouses contain enough for half the world, wliich must pass 
throuf^h the channels of commerce. In short, the ])lcnty and 
varie'.v of our own metals, and the picntv and excellent (juality 
of our coals, enable us to manufacture and export more and 
greater variety of metallic goods than any other nation what- 

From this imperfect sketch of the profusion and extensive use 
of our metals, I would infer the great importance of the British 
mines to the commerce, wealth, and grandeur of the nation ; and 
I would likewise infer the importance of improvements in the 
natural history of the mineral kingdom in such a country, espe- 
cially at this period. 

Mineralogy is now become a fiishionable study in most coun- 
tries of Europe, and n)any useful and entertaining discourses have 
been made of late years. But the present vogue and reputation 
of this branch of knowledge is nothing in comparison of its great 
utility. There cannot be a more interesting study for a Briton; 
for while we have extensive mines and collieries, and while the 


192 Preface to " The Natural HhtorTj 

production of them can be obtained at a moderate expense, we 
shall be considerable as a manufacturing and a commercial peo- 

It is a particular loss to the increase of knowledge in the na- 
tural history of the mineral kingdom, that this branch of science 
is neglected in our public schools. Mineralogy is taught in the 
universities abroad. I believe, that what may be called fos- 
silogy, or the arrangement and description of mineral fossils, is 
taught in some of our public schools ; but their instructions are 
founded upon small detached samples, the collections of the ca- 
binet, which leave the country gentleman and the young miner 
as much in the dark as before, with respect to the knowledge 
of Nature and of real mineral appearances, which are the true 
sources of useful knowledge in these matters ; and this species 
of knowledge is of great importance. 

No country in the world depends so much upon the produc- 
tions of the mineral kingdom, for the means of comfortable ac- 
commodation, wealth, and power, as the island of Britain. 

Coal is now become of such immense consequence to our cities 
and populous counties, to our forges and other manufactures, that 
it was impossible for us to have arrived at such commercial emi- 
nence, and it is as much impossible for us to support our present 
flourishing state of society without it ; and we are equally in- 
debted to the other parts of the n;ineral kinp.dom for many of the 
staple commodities, which are so widely diffused in the numerous 
channels of our extensive commerce. 

When we consider that manv thousands, I may say millions, of 
industrious hands arc employed one wav or other about the pro- 
duce of the mineral kingdom in this island, we are convinced of 
the importance of the increase of knowledge in mineralogy, and 
of the advantage that would accrue to the nation from the insti- 
tution of a class for teaching this science at our public schools. 

It may be said, that the necessary aids for such an institution 
are wanting in this island ; — there has not yet appeared any 
genuine natural history of the mineral kingdom, founded on such 
sound principles of philosophy, as would enable a teacher to lay 
the foundation of, and to complete a continued course of instruc- 
tions in the science of mineralogy. There are not, that 1 know 
of, many valuable books upon the subject in our language, ex- 
cepting such as treat of chemistry or metallurgy, and such as 
arrange and describe fossil bodies, as they are found in the cabi- 
nets of the curious, — almost all tiie rest is nothing but wild 
theory and system, built upon fanciful notions and opinions, the 
fruits of the closet, which have no foundation in the truth of facts,, 
as they appear in natural history 3 and therefore such books can 



of the Mineral Kingdom.'* 193 

be of no use but to amuse, to multiply diversity of opinions, and 
lo increase ignorance of the real knowledge of nature. 

It is this consideration which induces me to give to the public 
a work the fruit of more than forty years experience and obser- 
vation, to Vv'hich great opportunities and a mind ardent in re- 
searches of this nature prompted me. How I have executed my 
plan, the public shall judge : but I flatter myself, from the great 
number of facts I have ascertained, and from the many disco- 
veries I have made, that mv observations may be productive of 
real use to mankind, by exciting the pursuit of, and giving a 
proper direction to the study of this science, with more pleasure, 
ease, and proficiency than hitherto. 

The knowledge of truth in every branch of science is pleasant 
and profitable ; and it is generally acknowledged, that natural 
history is the most ]jleasant and profitable of all human studies 
and researclies ; and of all the parts of natural history, the mi- 
neral kingdom is the most magnificent and august, provided 
that we study nature herself. 

There is a nol)le air of grandeur and magnificence in the sec- 
tions of lofcy piles of strata, in huge rugged rocks, and hanging 
precipices, in profound caverns, and high and extensive cliffs of 
the sea, not to be found in order objects around us. 

These scenes astonish and captivate the mind at first sight 5 
and the better we are acquainted with them, the more we are 
enraptured with the view of the wonderful and endless variety 
which we discover in these scenes of nature ; and habitual ap- 
plication to these researches assimilates the mind by degrees to 
the greatness of the subject. 

Discoveries of truth and attainments of knowledge in these 
researches have the happiest effect on the human mind. In 
pursuing these studies successfully, the mind is elevated, the un- 
derstanding is enlarged and filled with great ideas, and all the 
powers of the soul are exalted and pleased at being able to com- 
prehend somewhat of these great works of God. 

In short, f conclude that there are no human studies so amusing, 
so entertaining, and delightful as these, when the student delights 
in the se(|uestcred scenes of nature. There is such a dignity 
and variety in every part of this subject, that it is impossible for 
a person of any genius and taste to be cloyed with these pur- 

Who tan possibly weary of endless change, and all cither 
astonishing;ly great, or fantastically grotesque, or beautifully re- 
gular; and I know well, that the more we improve in the kiu)w- 
ledge of these natural scenes, the more we delight in them; and 
therefore, without being a prophet, I will venture to predict, that 
whenever young gentlemen of genius and attention take pleasure 

Vol 30:Ko.233. Sept. 1817. N in 

1 94 Preface to « Tlw Natural History 

in theseresearches, it may be then proclaimed, that the darknes? 
is past, and that the glorious light of science is rising upon the 
mineral horizon. 

(ircai and rapid progress will then be made in this branch of 
natural knowledge, and the mineral kingdom will soon be un- 
derstood as well as the animal and vegetable kingdoms. But 
the importance of these studies should be preferred to the ])lea- 
sure of them in this mining, manufacturing, and commercial 
country, where it may be supposed there are but few landed 
estates that do not contain some mine or mineral fossil or other, 
which may contribute to the public good, and to private emolu- 
ment; and, therefore, I wish to excite a lively sense of the im- 
})ortance of increasing muieral knowledge. 

In such a country as this, young gentlemen of landed property 
should be initiated in the principles of mineralogy, and such 
youth as aim at professional abilities in mineral lines of business, 
sbouid have it in their power to lay an earlv foundation of know- 
ledge in this branch of natural history, which is the best way to 
arrive at eminence in the stations they are intended to fill. 

I have, in the following sheets, contributed a small moiety 
towards the acquisition of knowledge in mineral science. 

I have treated pretty fully of the natural history of the strata 
of coal, and of such other strata as are found to accompany coal ; 
I have treated fully and distinctly of the appearances, indica- 
tions, and symptoms of coal ; and I have been very careful to 
distinguish the real and certain appearances from such as are 
either false oi- donbtfid. 

In this part of my subject I have taken due pains to investi- 
gate and explain every thing that I thought would throw light 
upon, and communicate useful information, relating to a subject 
of so much importance to society; and I am persuaded that mv 
treatise upon coal will be of use to landed gentlemen, towards 
facilitating the progress of youth in the knowledge of this branch 
of natural history, and as an index for the young coal -master. 

The second subject treated of in this work is the Natural His- 
tory of Mineral Veins, and of the other beds and repositories of 
the precious and useful metals. I did not at first intend to publish 
my treatise concerning metallic mines at this time, because it is 
not completed ; but when the first part of my work was put in 
the press, I reflecled tliat this second part contains a number of 
particulars which may be useful to landed gentlemen awd young 
miners ; and as it is very uncertain whether I shall proceed any 
further in these mineral essays than the two volumes now pub - 
lished, I thought it was better to offer this in its present imper- 
lett state, than to suppress it altogether. 

The history aud description of mineral veins is perhaps ma(io 


of the Mineral Kingdom." 195 

full and explicit than can be found any where else. The pre- 
cepts upon shoading and husliing are the result of much practice : 
the observations and instructions concerning the appearances 
oiid symptoms of mines will give satisfaction, and be a sure guide 
to all such as have occasion to consult them ; and the local ex- 
amples oi" the appearances of some valuable mines may, in the 
course of time, be of great use to society. 

Such historical facts have always been considered as valuable 
communications. In short, all that is advanced in this imper- 
fect fragment is the fruit of my own observation and experience; 
and, therefore, it should be of some value, such productions being 
generally useful to society. 

These two essays upon coal and the metallic mines compose 
the first voliune. 

In the second volunae I proceed to take a view of the prevail- 
ing strata of Great Britain, and of many interesting phaenomena 
of the superficies of our globe. 

The j)hilosophy or natural history of the superficies of the 
globe is an interesting subject to all mankind in a social state. 

Manv of the necessaries, and most of the conveniencies of 
life are found either upon or a little within the surface of the 
globe, being the productions of the mineral kingdom ; and we 
are obliged to many of the strata for the plenty and excellence 
of our food. 

Lime is of great use to meliorate the soil, and to stimulate or 
excite vegetation ; and the gradual weathering and decomposi- 
tion of the superficies of many other strata, restore and increase 
the soil, which may be in part exhausted or carried away by 
rains and currents ; and if we look upon our houses, and within 
them, we may soon perceive how much we are indebted to the 
mineral kingdom. 

The most remarkable phaenomena which present themselves 
to us upon the surface, and as far as we penetrate within the sur- 
face of the globe, are remarked and explained in this third part 
under several heads. 

Ist. I have taken a view of the prevailing rocks aiid strata of 
this island, tp see v.hjch of them are stratified, and which of 
them ^re not. On this head I have examined the appearance, 
colours, quality, thickness, regularity, bearing, slope, and course 
of the several classes of strata: I have collected a great munber 
of interesting facts and local examples ; and 1 have been at great 
pains to select, aqd to exan[\ine particulj\rly.such stWta as arfi 
most useful to society. 

2d. I have trcatQ<l of the stratification of the superficies of our 

globe by the agency of water. In this disquisUiou the enhglu- 

cned and candid naturalist will find a considerable number of 

N 2 abstruse, 

1 96 Preface to " The Natural History 

abstruse, but interesting phsenomena above ground and below, 
r&ised from obscurity, and treated of and explained upon rational 
principles, in a clear, convincing, and satisfactory manner. 

3d. I have examined part of the modern system of Count 
Buffon and others upon this subject, to see how they correspond 
with the real structure of the superficies of the globe, and otlier 
pheenomena of nature ; and what I have advanced under this 
head will bear the severest scrutiny bv every test. 

4th. I luive treated of the natural history of mountains, and 
of their glens and excavations, which is a sublime and difficult 
subject. In this part the height and figure of the mountains, 
the profundity, direction, and extent of their excavations, the 
exterior and interior structure, with all the most remarkable 
phsenomena of mountains, and other irregularities of the surface 
of the globe, are fully accounted for and explained to a demon- 
stration, upon the principles of the agency of water, and of the 
prodigious height and force of the diluvian tides ; and the clear 
light which is thrown upon this great subject, will convince every 
candid naturalist of the truth of my propositions. 

5th. I have examined the nature, or quality, the size, figure, 
and other phsenomena of the larger grains and fragments which 
are found in the composition of our rocks and strata; and these 
inquiries naturally lead us into profound and interesting disqui- 
sitions relating to the universal deluge, — to the present and the 
antediluvian earth. 

This profound and awfiil subject is naturally mysterious and 
obscure, but it has been involved in infinitely greater obscurity 
and confusioji by the theories and systems of all ages, as the 
subject never has been well understood; — out of which obscurity 
and confusion I have endeavoured to raise it, and to explain and 
illustrate the doctrine of the deluge upon rational principles, 
agreeable to the laws and pheenomena of nature. 

6th. I have made a few observations concerning several oflier 
subjects relating to the mineral kingdom, among which there 
will be found an interesting treatise of volcanoes. 

I beg leave in this place to observe, that in all this work I 
aim at being useful to society, especially within the limits of my 
own country, — my native island ; but in the tract upon volcanoes 
my genius and imagination soars above the height of the British 
mountains, and takes a view of all mankind upon the whole face 
of the globe, and especially where they now are, or may here- 
after be plagued with the dreadful calamity of volcanoes ; and 
I hope to be the instrument of saving many lives from sudden 
destruction, — to mitigate the miseries and abridge common 
losses in volcanic countries ; and if my rules and instructioris for 
that purpose are thoroughly considered and followed, 

I am 

of the Mineral Kingdom." 1 97 

I am persuaded that what I have written will produce happy 
effects. The tract upon volcanoes is founded upon experimental 
science and real knowledge of natural history; and, therefore, I 
hope, that in time, very happy consequences will result from my 
essay upon this subject; in composing which, the whole powers 
of my soul were animated and exerted in fervent desires of doing 

The dissertations concerning the balance of the waters of the 
ocean, and the accumulated mountains of ice and frozen snow, 
which mutually and reciprocally depend upon and illustrate one 
another ; concerning the peopling of America by land from the 
north-east of Asia, and its being stocked with land animals from 
Armenia, in an early age, before the mountains of frozen snow 
were greatly accumulated ; — concerning the pestilential effects 
of humid vapours arising from the slime of new-formed lands, 
from marshes and extensive woods in warm countries, and how 
to mitigate these dismal calamities, and to banish these under- 
mining enemies of the human race ; — concerning the deepening 
and improving the beds and bars of the navigable and other rivers 
of the world, and the draining and improving of marshes, new 
formed, and wood-lands, with the great and glorious conse- 
quences of such works, for the health, longevity, general happi- 
ness, and prosperity of all nations ; are humbly submitted to the 
examination and censure of such candid and benevolent philoso- 
phers as make advances in useful improvements, and the pro- 
sperity and happiness of mankind the ultimate end of the exer- 
tion of their talents. 

In these dissertations they will find many valuable hints, which 
they can improve, and a great deal of matter of vast importance 
and consequence to the health and welfare of the world, very ill 
put together, and in an uncouth dress, but which they may ar- 
range, improve, and clothe in better language. ' 

Since writing the above, and all I proposed to advance at pre- 
sent in the following essays, I have perused a New Theory of the 
Earth, by James Hutton, M.D. F.R.S. Edinburgh, concerning 
which I Ijeg leave to make a few remarks in this place. 

Dr. Hutton is a naturalist of eminent abilities, whose know- 
ledge in several branches of mineralogy does honour to his conn- 
try, as some of his observations in the treatise under review 
clearly evince. The propositions he states, with the conclusions 
he draws from them, to confirm his hypothesis in the theory of 
the earth, shall be the subject of the following observations. 

Tiic Doctor's general system in his theory of the earth may 
he comprised in these four propositions. 

1st. That all our rocks and strata have been formed by sub- 
N 3 sidence 

l98 Preface to " The Natural History 

sidence uflder the waters of a former ocean, from the decay of and 
waste of a former earth, carried down to the sea bv land-floods. 

2d. That these submarine rocks and strata were heated to the 
degree of fusion by subterraneous fire, while immersed under the 
waters of the ocean, by which lieat and fusion the lax and porous 
sediment was consolidated, perfectly cemented, and all the pores 
and cavities filled up by the melted matter, while the whole mass 
was in a state of fusion. 

3d. That the rocks and strata, so formed and consolidated 
under the waters of the ocean, were afterwards inflated and forced 
up from under water by the expansive power of the subterraneous 
fire, to the height of our habitable earth, and of the loftiest 
mountains upon the surface of the globe. 

4th. That these operations of nature, viz. the decay and waste 
of the old land, the forming and consolidation of new land under 
the waters of the ocean, and the change of the strata now form- 
ing under water to future dry land, is a progressive work of na- 
ture, which always did, and always will go on in a perpetual 
succession, forming world after world. 

I. The first of these propositions has been fully answered and 
refuted before it was written, at least before it was published, in 
my examination of the system of Count BnflFon in his Theory 
of the Earth, which will be found in the second volume of my 
Essays upon the Mineral Kingdoms, concerning which, I will 
venture to say, and the candid intelligent naturalist will say with 
me, that I have not left the Doctor so much as a particle of 
earthy matter to form one of his future worlds, if a single parti- 
cle would save the whole succession. 

I have now effectually cut off all his supplies, and appropriated 
them to a better use ; and I hope it will be acknowledged, that 
I have made a good use of them. There is little or no difference 
between Count Buffon and Dr. Hutton in this part of their se- 
veral theories ; and therefore, what I have advanced concerning 
Buffon's, is equally applicable to the Doctor's. 

I have, in my examination of Count Buffon's Theory, frankly 
acknowledged "the truth of almost all that the Count and the 
Doctor advance about the Weathering, decomposition, and waste 
of the superficies of many of our rocks and strata, and of our 
mountains and cave rnous shores. 

The spoils of the mountains are carried down by land-floods 
to the valleys and to the borders of the ocean. So far we go to- 
gether ; — but here we must j)art, as I positively deny that any 
strata are formed under the waters of the ocean. I have, in 
that part of my essays, made it evident to a demonstration, that 
the sea purges itsel, by the tides oF all the earthy matter carried 

doM n 

of the Mineral Kingdom ." 199. 

down by the floods, which earthy matter is thrown back upon 
the shores, in the bays and creeks, and at the mouths of great 
rivers, where, by degrees, it enlarges the bounds of the dry land 
in exact proportion to the quantity carried down by the floods. 

In that part of my essays, I have clearly demonstrated, that 
the earthy matter washed off the face of our mountains and rocks 
has no manner of tendency to the real waste and destruction of 
the present earth ; so far from it, that on the contrary, the ha- 
bitable parts of the earth are gradually, but really and effectually 
renovated, enlarged, and improved thereby. I have proved, that 
many lakes, marshes, and frightful gulphs among the mountains 
and in the plains, have been fdled up in the course of the rivers 
of the world, which are now rich, beautiful and habitable coun- 
tries ; that many millions of acres of new land have been made 
in the valleys and plains, at the mouths of the rivers in the bays, 
creeks, and shores of the ocean ; and that very many and ex- 
tensive portions of this new land are now the fat valleys by the 
rivers, which are the scenes of population,wealth, and social hap- 

It is upon this description of land that the highest mmiber of 
the great commercial cities of the world are seated ; such as, for 
instance, London, Amsterdam, Alexandria, and many of the 
cities of China, &c. which have long been the seats of learning 
and the arts, of commerce, wealth, and glory. 

Whoever will take the trouble to peruse my essays, will be 
convinced and satisfied that tlie Deltas, Belgias, and Carses, and 
other descriptions of new land, formed and formiiig in all parts 
of the world, fully and perfectly correspond with the quantity of 
matter washed off the mountains and rocks; and they will there 
see it clearly proved that all this is a real, a great, a substantial, 
and a durable improvement of the present earth. 

Man cannot live upon the summits, nor high up the sides of 
lofty mountains ; but the frosts and thaws, and other changes of 
the air and weather, decompose part of tlie superficies of the 
mountains, which is carried down by the floods to the valleys 
and to the margin of the sea, where new land is gradually in- 
creased, which enlarges the bounds of the earth in convenient 
situations for increased population, and for all the improvements 
which are necessary for increasing human and social felicity; — 
and are not the spoils of the mountains much better disposed of 
in this way, than if spread out at random through the bounds of 
the ocean, to form imaginary worlds in the craniums of our nio- 
dcrn philosophers ? 

But this use which the wise and benevolent providence of God 

makes of the sediment of rivers in the ordinary course of things^ 

is not a well fancied hypothesis, proposed for the amusement or 

N 4 confusion 

200 Geological Queries regarding 

confusion of the inquisitive mind of man ; but it is a real and 
visible fact, which may be viewed, examined, and thoroughly in- 
vestigated by the man of leisure and abilities ; and I am per- 
suaded, that if Dr. Hutton will read my papers upon this sub- 
ject, he will he convinced of the errors of his hypothesis. 

Now, it being clearly demonstrated, that no strata are formed 
in the bed, or under the waters of the ocean, all our author's 
investigations and reasoning upon that subject of course fall to 
the ground ; and I have in my essays made it evident to a de- 
monstration, that if, for argument's sake, we allow the particles 
of matter carried down by the rivers to be spread out over the 
bounds of the ocean, and to subside in it, we should, in that 
event, have no coal, no limestone, freestone, nor any other use- 
ful fossil body. 

We should have no such thing as strata, nor bed, nor division 
of any kind whatsoever, but all would be one uniform solid 
mass of sediment, compounded of all things. It is in vain to 
say it would be otherwise. The known and acknowledged laws 
of Nature forbid it ; and all the experience we have of sediment 
proves the fact, that all jB'ould be a blended indistinguishable 
mass, as I have fully shown in my essays, to which I refer for 
clearing up the point under consideration. If we can suppose 
any order or distinction in sediment, it must agree with the laws 
of gravitation ; of course the heaviest particles would subside, 
and take possession of the lowest place, from which they would 
not be dislodged by the lightest. 

But we need not descend to particulars. Stratification must 
be performed by a shallow spread and flow of water : but we 
cannot allow of stratification, nor of any distinction of strata of 
different qualities under the bed or waters of the ocean, without 
a miracle for each ; and we need not have recourse to miracles, 
when the phaenomena of Nature can be as well and better ex- 
plained upon rational and mechanical principles, agreeable to 
the known laws and visible operations of Nature. But I will 
not insist upon this topic here. I have already confuted this 
part of the Buffonian theory, and the Huttonian differs but little 
from it. [To be continued.] 

XXIX. Geological Queries regarding the Strata of the Vicinity 
of Bridlington; and some Acknoudedgements io Nathaniel 
John Winch, Esq.,&c. By A Correspondent, 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — V-/ONCERNING the causes of the ebbing and flowing of 
the Spring of Water, which rises in Mr. Rennie's Bore-hole in 


the Strata of the Vicinity of Bridlington. 201 

Bridlington Harbour, on the coast of Yorkshire, three occasional 
Visitors of that place, Dr. John Storer, Mr. James Watt*, and 
Mr.Gavin Inglis,have offered their several conjectures. Mr. Milne, 
a resident, has done the same, and Mr. Hume has analysed its 
waterSjwithout the facts of the stratification, of that part of the 
country, having sufficiently transpired, to enable myself and others 
of your Readers, who have never had the opportunity of ex- 
amining that part, to form any safe opinion. My object there- 
fore is now, to request the favour of Mr. JVinch, whom I have 
understood to intend an examination this Summer of the northern 
part of the Yorkshire Coast, and I hope of this part also, and any 
other practical Investigators of the strata, that they would an- 
swer the following queries, through the medium of your pages, viz. 
1st, Is the " very solid Clay" through which the borer passed 
2S feet (vol. xlv. p. 433) in reality a bed of alluvial Clay ? ; 
as the bed of *' cretaceous flinty Gravel," 15 feet thick, 
through which the borer is said to have passed, next after 
the Clay, may be supposed to indicate; owing to the fact, 
indisputable among practical Men, that real Gravel, is not 
found under any regular Strata: or, 
2d, Is the Clay above mentioned, an undisturbed stratum P; and 
the flints which are mentioned, as occurring in Gravel, in 
reality, the fragments of nodules of FHnt broken by the 
boring chisel, which were dispersed in the Marl or soft 
Chalk which was bored through, 15 feet, before a larger 
nodule, or a continuous bed of flint, stopped the further pro- 
gress of the boring, into the Chalk Rock beneath ? : or, 
instead of their being real Flints, which were bored up, were 
they not chert nodules, broken jjerhaps by the auger ? and 
" the solid rock" which stopped the boring, concretion 
of a bed of the Sand, into the stone^ usually called Gray 
Wethers?: or, 
3d, Instead of the Clay which was bored through, being part of 
the Plastic, Potters', or Brick Clay, regularly covering the 
upperChalk (sometimes without, but more commonly with, 
a Sand intervening) as I have supposed in the last query: 
may it not form a stratum, between the upper and lower 
Chalk? : if it be correct, that the same stratum of Clay, 
stretches up the Wolds, so as to confine down the water in 
the Chalk around the Gipsies Springs f. Because, if it be 

* fn tlic Repertory of Arts, vol. xxx. p. 342. 

t Wliicli Spriritj; I observe, Mr. Arrowsmith's Map places, 2-3ds of a 
Mile N \V of the Wold Cottage (where the lari^est British Meteoric Stone 
fell in ir95), and IJ Mile KSE of Foxholes village, on the Hull and Scar- 
ixiroMgU Road. 


202 Geological Queries regarding 

correct, as Mr. Smith's Map of the Strata shows, and I 
have always understood from other sources, the naked Chalky 
(and not its cover of London Clay) extends from Foxholes, 
S to Great Driffield and beyond, SE to Thornholm, and 
ESE almost or quite to Bridlington? See: the Clay 
around this Gipsies Spring, cannot be the plastic Clay above 
the upper Chalk; unless in a local Troiigk (which Mr. Smith 
has not shown) extcMding up the bottom of the vale from 
Bridlington to Foxholes ? : which seems improbable, 1 

4th, What is llie Rock spoken of by Mr. Milne (p. 434), as 
forming the base of the Smithwick Sand Reef, 4 miles out 
at Sea, SE from Bridlington, and presenting a CZ/^* under 
water, towards the east? Is it the upper Chalk ? : — or, the 
Gray Wethers?: — or any of the Limestones, &c. of the 
Isle of Wight and Paris Series ?. Concerning some of which 
last, so much has been fabled of late years, regarding their 
fresli-water origin, in distinction from the Strata in ge- 
neral, which have, without sufficient proof been assumed, 
to have had a salt-water origin ? 

5th, If " The Gipsies" spoken of in your last Number, p. 82, 
be the Spring 10| m. WNW from Bridlington, which has 
been mentioned in the .^d Query, situated almost on the 
summit of the Wold Mills ? : is it really true, that this Spring 
ehbs and Jloivs, periodically? or is it credible, that this is 
anyway connected with the Tide in Bridlington Bay? — If 
there are other G'/'ps/e Springs, much nearer to the Sea, and 
near to its level, to which allusion is made? ; instead of that 
one near Foxholes; where are they situated, by bearings 
and distances, and the streams by which they descend to 
the Sea ? 

6th, In the case last supposed, and indeed with regard to all the 
Gipsie Springs, which have so loosely been alluded to ; is 
the superficial Clay, through which the water is said to 
" ooze" and "wceji," around them; in reality an alluvial 
covering, to water-v/orn, broken and lieterogeneousGravel? ; 
or a stratum, covering another porous and water-charged 
stratum beneath it ? : and in the latter case, which are these 
strata, in the Smithian Series? — and whether alluvia or a 
stratum, is it clear, that the same extended and unbroken 
mass of Clay, covers the vicinities of the Gipsies and of 
Bridlington Bay Springs? 
When the above queries are satisfactorily answered ; the truth! 

or otherwise, of the several ingenious hypotheses which have been, 

advanced, with the view of explaining the alleged wonders ofl 


the Strata of the Vicinity of Bridlington. 203 

this Spring*, can better be discussed: and until this is done, as 
well as the facts of the Spring, stated on longer experience, I 
shall hope to see your pages, sir, more usefully occupied, than in 
prolonging so barren a discussion : at this day, localized facts, 
not closet speculations, on Geological subjects, are wanted, by 
great numbers of your Readers, as well as by 
Your humble servant, 
September 1, 1817. A CONSTANT READER. 

P. S. — I do not feel less obliged to your able and valuable 
Correspondent Mr. Winch, for the important facts of his last 
Letter, in p. 122, than if the same had more directly been stated, 
as correctiom of the opinions he formerly gave, when answering 
my Queries, (in p. 465 of your xlvith volume, p. 101 of vol. xlvii.) 
as also in the Geo. Trans, iv. pp. 73, 74, 75, and 7t), corre- 
sponding then, nearly, with those of Dr. Thomson, as to the 
supposed unconformableness, of the masses of Basalt, scattered 
over the northern parts of Northumberland. Whether " the Basalt 
alternate with the rocks of which the whole district is composed," 
or not ? is an important question of fact, to which my 2nd ques- 
tion, in p. 12 of your xlviith vol. directly went : and for the 
answer now obtained, I beg most sincerely to thank Mr. Winch: 
— the idle questions, as to whether veweit floetz Trap, or any 
others of the Gcogno?,t\c fancies, will apply to the Strata of 
Northumberland, I will readily leave to Dr. Thomson and others 
to decide. 

With regard to the last paragraph of Mr. W's Letter, I beg 
leave to remark, that what he truly states, as to other sub- 
stances, when seen in contact with Basalt (both of Dykes and 
Strata) sometimes appearing different in quatihj, from the ge- 
neral masses of those adjacent substances : is true al.iO, in nu- 
merous instances, which I have seen, luith regard to I he contacts 
of several other substances tilling Dykes, or forming immediate 
alternations of strata, without tlie intervention of the Wayboards 
or partings, which more commonly are interposed: and, that 
instead of considering, in such situations, the Slate Clay as turned 
into flinty slate, &c. the Coal as being charred, the Sandstone, 
as changed, to a brick red, and the Limestone as rendered highly 
crystalline, &;c. by changes wrought on these masses, subsc(|uont 
to their original formation, by heat, communicated to them from 
the Basalt when in a melted or Lava state: — on the contrary, I 
have seen, such abundant reasons for considering all these alleged 
changeiy and m^uiy others, as blendings, or infiltrations of the 
component subiitances of the adjacent masses, coeval with the 

• Brighton, in Sussex, iiad in like manner its wonderful Wells, until 
1OT2, when their mysteries wer'c cleared up; see Nidiolsoii's .Tournni, 
bvo, iii. 66. 


204 On the Rotary and Orlicular 

formation of one of them : — or, as the consequence of a subse- 
quent chemical decomposition of one of the surfaces in contact : 
— that I cannot doubt, if it could so occur, that Mr. W. or any 
others of similar ways of thinking on this point, could conduct 
me to the very strongest case in Great Britain, of their alleged 
chariing or changing of adjacent substances, by the heat of Ba- 
salt : I could point out facts on the spot, which would completely 
overturn such a supposition; — with hand Specimens, theoretically 
selected, or with descriptions by others, so tinctured, the result 
might possibly be otherwise. This test, our theoretic inferences 
must bear, in every instance, if they are worth anything, or 
worthy of being communicated to others, or remembered. 

I have already and fully explained myself, in p. 253 of your 
last volume and elsewhere, as to the locally variable thicknesses, 
of continuous strata of Basalt, forming what may be considered 
as somewhat irregular lenticular masses, either piano- or double 
convex ; surely Mr. W. will on reconsideration agree with me 
in thinking, that " wedge-shaped masses," but inaptly desig- 
nates them. I hope that none of your succeeding Numbers, for 
some time, will appear without communications from Mr. Winch, 
Mr. Forster, Mr. Fryer, or some other industrious Observers of 
the Geological facts, of the northern English Counties, disposed 
to freely communicate what they know. 

2d P. S. — T heartily wish that Mr. Winch, or his Friend to 
whom he alludes in your last, would send up to Mr. Sowerhj 
(No. 2, Mead-place, Lambeth) ample Specimens of all the kinds 
of Shells, found in the Limestone of WratclifF, or in any other 
Quarries, with their precise localities marked ; in order that in 
future Numbers of his " Mineral Conchology," they may be 
drawn, described, named and compared, with other distant lo- 
calities of the same species of Shells. A. C. R. 

XXX. On the Rotary and Orbicular Motions of the Earth, By 
Mr. H. RussEL. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — X vvrt-L esteem it a favour if you will give a place to the 
following letter, in your publication, — and am, &c. 

Norwicli, Jul) 24, 1817. HeNRY RusSEL. 

" To Sir Richard Phillips. 

"Sir, — To account for the attraction of gravitation, has long] 
been an object of my most serious inquiry, and 1 am sorry 1 can-] 
not find in your paper (of last June) that gratification which by] 


Motions of the Earth. 205 

the title I was led to expect. I cannot conceive what could in- 
duce you to suppose, that the orbicular and rotary motions of 
the earth, are the cause of that great principal attraction, of 
which you justly observe, the Newtonians and all the modern 
schools of philosophy have acknowledged themselves ignorant. 

" I think it is very easy to show, that these motions, which are 
themselves only effects, cannot be the cause of what in every 
point of view appears to be a first principle. If you vvere to 
attempt an illustration of your theory by actual experiment, I 
am persuaded you would discover its fallacy. 

A circular plane surface, ten or twelve inches in diameter, 
lying in the plane of our horizon, with grooves cut in its upper 
surface on lines drawn from the centre to the circumference, 
might have a rotary motion given to it, and if globules of mer- 
cury were put into the grooves, the centrifugal force would by 
them be exhibited, and you would find that no orbicular or any 
other motion, that )ou could communicate, would be able to 
bring all the globules of mercurv at the same time to or towards 
the centre, which, if your doctrine was true, would undoubtedly 
be effected by giving it a circular motion, similar to the motion 
of our earth in its orbit. 

I should very much like that you would try this, or some other 
experiment, by way of illustration, before you apply your " prin- 
ciples to the phaenomena of a system of bodies moving within 
the gaseous medium of universal space." 


Let the circle O R represent the orbit of our earth ; S the 
•un in the centre ; E the earth j P E, a line drawn from the 
centre of the earth through the point of projection; TG a tan- 
gent of the earth; AD a diagonal of the rectangle DP A, the 
longer sides of which are to the shorter, as the orbicular motion 


206 Edperimenis on Vegetation. 

is to the rotary, or as eighty to one. Let us suppose the axis of 
the earth pGrpeacJicuJar to the plane of the earth's orbit, that 
the earth is tuniinir from A to G, and that it moves in the orbit 
iu tlie dirrction E 0. , A stone projected from the piont A, wiJi 
contimie to rise till its vix inerlice is overcome by the attraction 
of gravitation, by which it will be drawn to the point from whence 
it was projected. The orbicular and rotary motions of the earth, 
have no power, whatever, to cause a body thus projected, to re- 
tmn again to the earth ; but on the contrary, were it possible 
that the earth could perform its revolutions, rotary and orbicular, 
without the e>dbtiug j)rinciple attraction the stone spoken of, 
without tl;c addition of any muscular or explosive force, would 
not remain on the earth, but would fly off in the direction A D, 
in obedience to the indisputable laws of motion. An attentive 
examination of the annexed diagram, will familiarly show that it 
is impossible for a projectile thus neglected by its guardian at- 
traction, ever again to return. 

I am vvilliug to admit, that the orbicular and rotary motions 
of the earth combined, on account of the inclination of the earth's 
axis, produce some peculiar effects not yet justly noticed ; but I 
am more inclined to suppose that they are the cause of the pre- 
cession of the equinoxes, or of the nutation of the earth's axis, 
than of that great and still unfathomable principle which cannot 
but excite the wonder and admiration of unassuming philoso- 

But admitting (which I have not th.e least inclination to do) 
that your theory holds good ut the equator, how will you account 
for the attraction of gravitation at or near the poles ? How will 
you account for the horizontal attraction of the sun and moon? 
will you be able to account for our tides, neap and spring ? If 
you can give satisfactory answers to these questions, you will no 
doubt very much stagger the present ideas of. 
Sir, yours, &c. 

Norwich, Jul;)' 21, 1817. ' HeNIIY RusSEL. 

XXXI. 071 Mr. Tatum's Experimenls on Fegetation. By 


To Mr. Tilloch. 

"Sir, — J-N the advanced state of chemical science, the accumu- 
lation of experiments proceeds with so much rapidity, that it is 
possible a man of the most extensive reading may claim as a dis- 
covery an observation which had been made by another. But 
when a correspondent pretends to enlighten one of the niost 
controverted subjects of expciiaieiual science .by views and ex- 


Experiments on Vegetation. 207 

periments which have been detailed in half a dozen professed 
treatises, and otherwise promulgated in every possible way, he 
surely betrays a most vinpardonable ignorance. The corre- 
spondent to whom I alliule is Mr. Tatum, w^io has fiivoured 
you with a paper in a late Nimiloer, whcieiu he alludes to the 
old story of the purification of the atmosphere by vegetable re- 
spiration, of which, lie says, few or none doubt the correctness. 
Mr. Tatum however could not rest .satisfied with the general 
adoption of this opinion, and in the true spirit of philosophic 
research he dctenniued to try the matter himself. Accordingly 
his experiments teach him that seeds, when confined under ajar, 
evolve during germination only carbonic acid ; and he moreover 
discoi'ers that plants in common with animals consume tlie oxy- 
gen of the air, which is accounted for in the formation of car- 
bonic acid. These facts no doubt would be very interesting dis- 
coveries, had thcv not bc(^n discoveries of twenty years standing. 
I have said that Air. Tatuui's oljservations have been anticipated 
by half a dozen authors, and I think I shall be able to make good 
the assertion. The oj)inion that plants purify the air originated, 
as is well known, with Dr.Priestlev; but even he seems afterwards 
to have been aware of the inaccuracy of his conclusions; — " for," 
says he, in vol. ill. p. 273, "in general, the experiments of this year 
were xmfavourable to m\ former hypothesis, — for whether I made 
the experiments with air injured by respiration, the burning of 
candles or any other phlogistic process, it did not grow better, 
but worse ; and the longer the plants continued in air the more 
phlogisticat&d it was. 1 also tried a great variety of plants with 
ro better success." The first autlior that expcrime?itulhj con- 
tradicted this opinion was Scheele ; and to avoid prolonging this 
letter, I shall content myself with referring to his work on Fire 
and Air, p.lGO. After Scheele came Ingenhousz and Sennebier, 
one of whom wrote three volunips of experiments on this sub- 
ject ; the ether, five. That Mr. Tatum may lose no time in 
looking over the ill-digested works of these authors, I refer him 
to Ingenhousz 's book, vol, i. p. 255 ; and again, vol. ii. p. 758, 
and to vol. iii. p. 114, of Sennebier's ])ublicalion, Pkysiolog. 
Veget. at which references he will find an explicit declaration 
of what I have said. At present we have still living M. Saus- 
sure junior, who ha'; written a most interesting, ingenious, and 
luminous work on the Chemical Functions of Vegetables, and 
his experiments entirely corroborate what had been done by 
Schoele, Ingenhousz and Sennebier. \'ide Anuales de Chimie, 
torn. xxiv. p. lof), and his work entitled Erijeiience sur la 
f^cgttation. Before the appearance of Saussnre's work the at- 
teutiou of the piiblic v\as called to this question by the first 
volume of Mr. Klljs's treutise on the Respiration of Plants and 


208 Remarks on 

Animals, in which he faithfully notices all that had been done by 
his predecessors, and establishes the point by abundant research, 
tliat the whole of animated nature, whether vegetable or animal, 
abstracts the oxygen of the air, which is entirely bestowed in the 
production of carbonic acid. In Mr. Ellis's second volume (a 
most elaborate and interesting performance, and the latest work 
on the subject,) Mr. Tatum will find the question resumed; and 
that while Mr. Ellis maintains that carbonic acid is the result of 
the natural respiration of plants, he proves that there is a second 
function, by which, during bright sunshine, the carbonic acid so 
formed is reconverted into oxygen. This process, he contends, 
is entirely a chemical one, depending on the chemical agency of 
light, and bv no means to be considered as a necessary or na- 
tural operation. Thus far and much other interesting matter, 
with regard to the difference of colour in different plants and at 
different times of the year, Mr. Ellis has ably established. The 
question still remaining is, not whether plants have the power of 
counteracting the vitiation produced by the breathing of animals; 
but whether they are able during sunshine to reconvert into oxvgen 
the carbonic acid they form during darkness and common dav- 
light. The solution of this question I have attempted, and I 
hope one day to give a satisfactory answer to it. The sixth 
author who has touched on this question is Sir H. Daw, in his 
Agricultural Chemistry, who details two experiments which he 
made in order to convince himself that Mr. Ellis had not been 
deceived by his extensive researches. 

Independently of these works Mr. Tatum will find an analysis 
and critique of Mr. Ellis's opinion in theQuarterly Review; and 
the subject is also fully discussed in Murray's and Thomson's 
Systems of Chemistry. I conclude by saying, that all Mr. T's 
experiments have been executed before, and some of them a 
dozen times over. 

I am, sir. Yours respectfully, 

W. H. G. 

XXXII. Remarks on Sir R. Phillips's Defence of his Hypo- 
theiis. By Mr. Thomas Tredgold. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — /i.s Sir R. Phillips has favoured some of my remarks on 
his hypothesis vvith a reply, I will endeavour once more to con- 
vince him of the fallacy of the opinions he has put forth. 

Sir Richard appeals to experience, without once bringing for- 
ward an experiment to prove the correctness of his views ; and 
to the laws of Newton and of Nature, without once showing that 


Sir R. Phillips's Defence of his Hypothesis. 209 

they agree \vith his hypothesis: hence, it is difficult to refute 
such undefined opinions. Undoubtedly Sir R. thinks that he 
has corrected the mistake, and therefore rendered the demon- 
stration in the Phil. Mag. for July, p. 130, correct ; in this, 
however, he is mistaken. The demonstration is intended to 
prove that bodies are deflected towards the earth by a power 
which decreases inversely as the square of the distance. Now 
it is evident, that a projectile or mass of matter can be acted 
upon by that part of the spheric surface only which it occupies ; 
also, that it cannot occupy similar portions of spheric surfaces ; 
— but it is similar portions only that are to one another as the 
squares of their radii : therefore, the conclusion is equally as in- 
correct as it was before. And, as a proof that circular motion 
has not any effect to impel a body towards the centre of motion; 
pJace an open vessel of water upon the internal part of the rim 
of a wheel, and turn the wheel with considerable velocity; when 
the water will acquire such a degree of centrifugal force as will 
retain it in the vessel, in all positions of the wheel. Again, if a 
ball or other body were made fast upon the external part of the 
rim of the wheel, and it were put in motion'with a considerable 
velocity; then could the power that confines the ball to the 
wheel be suddenly removed, the ball would fly off in a tangent 
to the rim of the wheel. 

As either of these experiments might be tried 'without much 
difficulty, I would recommend them to Sir R's notice : though it 
be now too late to save him from exposing his ignorance of the 
laws of motion, (see his answers to the second and third objec- 
tions,) it may prevent a repetition of a like exposme. 

Sir Richard has certainly adopted a very singular mode of 
defending himself; for he ass\nnes the most questionable part 
of his hypothesis, to be an established truth, (viz. the deflective 
power of the rotary motion,) and then proceeds to reply to the 
minor objections, bj telling us, over and over again, that the 
deflective power of the rotary motion is equivalent to gravita- 
tion. — Of course, if that were the case, it would produce the; 
same effects. But Sir U. has not anywhere shown that it h 
equivalent — nay, not even that it has the least tendency to de- 
flect a projectile towards the earth. 

If Sir R. would take the trouble to define the sense in which 
he uses the word motion, it would then be a little more clear 
how far it is better known than gravitation. According to the 
common definition of the term, motion is oidy an effect; of 
which it is the oiiject of the philosopher to inquire the cause. 

Newton and others have shown gravitation to be one of the 
canses of the rotary and orbicular motions of the planets, of the 
flux and reflux of the ocean, the descent of projectiles, and 

Vol. 50. No.233. Sepl, 1817. O various 

210 Oil Terrestrial Gravitation. 

various other pliaeiiomena. Sir R. Phillips attempts to shou' 
that one of these effects is the cause of the other ; and calls this 
advancing human knowledge a step further — I suppose he means 
ba^jkvvards; therefore I will leave him to pursue the course he 
has chosen. 

I am, sir, yours, &:c. 

Thomas Tredgold. 

XXXIII. O71 Sir Richard Phillips's supposed Discovery of 
the Cause of the Ph(^nome!ia of Terrestrial Gravitation. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — J. o appreciate the success with which Sir Richard Phil-" 
lips has defended his discovery of the cause of the plicenowena 
of terresliial gravitation, it might, perhaps, be sufficient to re- 
mark, that he has left untouched Mr. Tredgold's fundamental 
objection; viz. that as neither the resistance of the atmosphere, 
nor the motions of the earth on its axis, or in its orbit, have se- 
parately any tendency to deflect towards its surface, bodies pro- 
jected upwards, it follows that their conjoint action can have no 
such tendency. Permit me, however, by way of commentary, to 
add, that it has long since been demonstrated, that whether a 
body be projected by a single impulse, or by many simultaneous 
impulses in different directions, the progressive motion commu- 
nicated must be rectilinenr. The combination, therefore, of the 
two-fold motion of the earth with any other impulse, can, in 
projecting a body, impress on it no other than rectilinear pro- 
gressive motion; nor can these forces, after the instant of their 
joint impulse, in any way modify the direction then impressed. 
There remains, therefore, of SirRichard Phillips's forces only the 
agency of the atmosphere to deflect the projectile from a right 
line into such a curve as nmst return to the earth. Now the 
effect of atmospheric resistance would be that of smiple retarda- 
tion, did not the rapidity of the rotary motion of the parts of 
the atmosphere augment with their altitude. A consequence 
of this circumstance is, indeed, a continual deflection of the pro- 
jectile from its initial direction : but whatever deflective force 
may be assigned to this cause, it could never make a body de- 
scribe a curve returning to, or even approaching the earth's sur- 
face ; for the very obviotis reason that the direction of its action 
must always be parallel to tangents of that surface. 

This being so, the theory of Sir Richard Phillips does not 
precisely correspond with his description of it as " a theory 
which substitutes the known motions of Nature as operative 
causes of certain physical phaenomena in place of an assumed 


The Description of a Safety Furnace. 211 

principle called gravitation, by which, false analogies have been 
introduced into philosophy." Let us, however, in a single in- 
stance observe how ihe^Q '' hioiun motions of Nature" supply 
the place of the " assumed principle called gravitation," 

The weight of bodies, and their velocity in falling, uniform 
experience shows to be least at the equator, and to increase 
with the latitude. Now as the rotary motion of the earth's sur- 
face and atmosphere diminishes from the equator to the poles, 
where it ceases in both ; the weight of bodies and their velocity 
in falling, ought, according to Sir Richard's doctrine, to be 
greatest at the equator, and to diminish as the latitude increases* 
Nay further, since there exists neither rotary motion on the earth's 
surface at the jjoles, nor in the atmosphere in its prolonged axis, 
a direct consequence of his doctrine is, that bodies at the poles 
are devoid of all weight, and when projected perpendicularly 
thence, tliey never return to the earth ! 
I am, sir. 

Your very obedient servant> 
Bath, Sept. 9, 1817. F. E . . .S. 

XXXIV. The Description of a Safety Furnace for preventing 
Explosions in Coal-Mines. By Robert Bakevveli., Esq. 

To Mr. Tillock. 

Dear Sir, — 1 he attention of coal proprietoi's has lately been 
directed to the explf)sions which take place in mines from the 
lights used by the workmen ; but it is well known that similat 
explosions are often occasioned by the inflammation of the car-' 
buretted hydrogen gas, as it passes the fire placed near the upcast 
shaft to rarefy the air and promote ventilation. The fire which 
is generally necessary, is thus not unfrequently the cause of the 
most fatal accidents. 

To prevent this, no remedy has been proposed that I am ac- 
quainted with, except the substitution of a charcoal fire, on the 
principle that the gas will not explode by a red heat burning 
without flame. An open charcoal fire is, however, liable to the 
following objections. The carbonic acid gas generated by the 
combustion of charcoal being specifically heavier than the air of 
the mine, will, as it is cooled in its passage upwards, descend 
again and choak the lower part of the shaft. A particle of com- 
mon coal intermixed with the charcoal, or falling into the fire, 
might produce flame and cause an explosion. The comparative 
(iearuess of charcoal will also tend to prevent its introduction. 
Coke from coal is more easily procured, but it sometimes beams 

O 2 with 

212 The Description of a Safety Furnace. 

with a lambent flame sufficient to ignite explosive mixtures of 

A fire which will burn with perfect safety in mines, and at the 
same time occasion a brisk circulation of air, has been hitherto 
a desideratum. I am induced to believe, that I have discovered 
how this may be obtained by the introduction of a furnace, sim- 
ple in construction, in which coke or even common coal may be 
burnt, without any danger, and the circulation of air in the mine 
greatly increased. 

The furnace or stove admits of considerable variation in size 
and form, according to the situations in which it may be used; 
and as it can be erected at a small expense, 1 trust no prejudice can 
exist to prevent a fair trial of its utility. The accompanying draw- 
ing will explain its construction, and enable any coal proprietor to 
apply the furnace to his own use. AAaa (Plate III. fig. 1,) re- 
present the body of the stove and chimney, which should be of cast 
iron in one piece without any side-door or opening whatever, as 
it is supplied with fuel at the mouth or chimney. IIj represent 
the grate, which moves upon an hinge, and opens downwards by 
removing an iron peg c, in order to clear the grate when wanted, 
and dd a broad rim below the grate perforated by the air-holes 
eee. F is a cistern of stone or brick to be filled with water 
above the lower edge of the rim dd. The diameter of the fur- 
nace at the grate may be 30 inches, that of the chimney about 
18 inches, to admit the fuel. The height of the chimney, if 
coke be used, need scarcely exceed ten feet, and may be inclined 
or not at option, according to the situation. When the furnace 
is lighted, which may be done by introducing lighted coke down 
the chimney, there will be no access of air but through the aper- 
tures eee, which may be regulated at pleasure, by stops to in- 
crease or diminish the current. The use of the water-trough is 
to confine the admission of air to the openings ee, and also to 
prevent any accidental inflammation of coal or other substance 
below the grate. 

Should the air^of the mine be charged with inflammable gas 
to the explosive point, it is prevented from passing near the sur- 
face of the fire by the sides of the stove ; and should even the 
lowest stratum of air which enters the apertures e e be explosive, 
which can rarely occur, this air will lose a part of its oxygen 
by passing through ihe red-hot coke, and by its further admix- 
ture with carbonic acid gas confined in the stove, must cease to 
be inflammable. The general current of inflammal)le air will 
pass with perfect safety over the mouth of the chimney, and will 
ascend the shaft from the heat communicated to it by the sur- 
face of the stove. If common coal be used, a chimney of greater 


Remarks on Oljections to Experiments on Vegetation. 213 

length must be joined to a a, reaching beyond the possible ex- 
tension of the flame. To prevent inflammation at the lower part 
of the fire, there must be only one aperture below the grate, into 
which an air-pipe must be closely fitted. This must extend 
above the top of the pit, and be of sufficient width to admit a 
free passage for the air downwards to the fire. By this means 
tiie remotest possibility of danger would be avoided either from 
a coke or a coal fire ; the rarefaction of the air would be depen- 
dent on the heated surface of the stove. 

I have ascertained by experiment, that a small current of pure 
hydrogen gas will inflame at the distance of nearly two inches 
above the apex of a newly-snuffed candle, but will not inflame 
when passed over the chimney of a lamp where paper would be 
scorched without ignition. We may by this means have a metre 
of the length of c-himney necessary to prevent the inflammation 
of gas, according as the materials burned may evolve more or 
less flame. 

Where the apertures ee are used without the air-pipe, they 
may be covered with double wire-gauze, which might prevent 
any inflammation under the grate communicating with the air of 
the mine. With these precautions one or more fires might be con- 
stantly burning near the upcast shaft, and by increasing the 
juantity of heated surface, we may accelerate the ascent of air 
more rapidly than by an open fire as at present used. 

So long as the fire continues to burn, the air in the mine wi^ 
never pass down the chimney or reach the fire from above; and 
were the hydrogen to inflame when the air is admitted through 
the apertures ee; if they are clothed with wire-gauze, the flame 
will be confined to the under part of the grate, and may be in- 
stantly extinguished bv closing the apertures. 

Thesimplicitv of this safety furnace will, I trust, recommend it 
to the eailv notice of coal proprietors; and should it be found to 
lessen the dangers to which the workmen in mines are exposed, 
my object in this communication to your valuable publication will 
be fully answered. 

I am, dear sir, yours, &:c. 
13, Tavistock Street, Bedfor.l Square, RoBT. BaKEWELL. 

Sept. 5, 1817. 

XXXV. Remarks on Mr. Murray's Objections to ET.periments 
on Fegelation detailed in the Phil. Mag. for July last. By 
Mr. J. Tatum. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — Your correspondent Mr. Murray has, in your last 
Number, objected not only to the manner in which I conducted 

O 3 the 

214 Remarks on Objeclions to Experimenls on Vegetation. 

the experiments relative to the effects of vegetation, &c. on at- 
mospherical air, communicated to your Magazine of July; but 
also to those of Mr. Ellis, which he says " are as liable to objec- 
tions as any other." 

He disapproves of the " mercurial effluvia," without proving 
that such existed in the experiment, at least so as to retard the 
functions of the pkmt, for there was hut about two or three inches 
surface of mercury exposed to the air of the plant (hut as I be- 
lieve Mr. Ellis did not use mercury in his experiments, he is not 
liable to this objection). To the " confined instead of a free 
atmosphere" he also objects; and then concludes by stating, that 
he holds unchanged " the opinion he has long maintained as to 
the direct experiments of Drs, Priestley and Ingenhousz, since 
corroborated, namely, that the quantity of carbonic acid evolved 
by plants will bear but a pitiful proportion Xo the Jioods of oxy- 
gen poured out upon the atmosphere by the exercise of the ve- 
getable function." 

Now, I would ask the objector what were the direct experi- 
ments of Drs. Ingenhousz and Priestley, and by ivhom and how' 
since confirmed, which have so confirmed or established him in his 
opinion ? Was it the experiment of Dr. Ingenhou'^z, as related 
at page 14 of his work ? where he says: "they (the detached 
leaves) are to be put in a very transparent glass vessel, or jar, 
filled with fresh pump water, (which seems best adapted to pro- 
mote this operation of the leaves, or at least not to obstruct it,) 
•which being inverted in a tub full of the same water are to be 
exposed to the sunshine : thus the leaves continuing to live, 
continue also to perform the office they performed out of the 

Is this experiment of the unnatural situation of detoche'i leaves 
less objectionable than the one in which an entire plant, or spring 
while attached to its parent, is placed in atmospherical air ? Should 
Mr. Murray think so, I shall still, whenever / wish to ascer- 
tain the effects of a j^lant (not an aquatic one) on the atmosphere, 
always place it in atmospherical air, and nnt in tvater ; and shall 
always prefer using an entire plant, or that part of one attached 
to its parent, rather than detached leaves. 

As for the '■'• jioods of oxygen" which he savs are '^ poured out 
upon the atmosphere by vegetation, being so superior to the 
pitiful quantity of carbonic acid ; this remains to be proved; for 
I do not recollect one experiment cither of Drs. Ingenhousz, 
Priestley or others, which is adequate to it. And although he 
is such a strenuous advocate of Dr. Priestley, he must acknow- 
ledge that the Doctor's experiments frequently proved the con- 
trary; for at p. 338 of his third volume, the Doctor states " that 
the air in which a willow plant was growing, continued to de- 


Hemarks on Objections to Experiments on Vegetation. 215 

crease in purity for tiventy days" And at p. 273, vol. iii. the 
Doctor says : " the experiments of this year 1 778, to which I had 
been induced to pay more particular attention and care, were 
unfavourable to my former hypothesis." J could adduce more 
experiments of the Doctor's, of this nature, but think these will 

By uhom and by what experiments the doctrine he maintains 
has been " since confirmed," I know not, unless the experi- 
ments of Sir Humphry Davy are alluded to. 

But as Mr. Murray objects to my experiments being con- 
ducted in a cnnfjied portion of air, I must remind him that Drs. 
Ingenhousz, Priestley, and Sir H. Davy's were all performed 
either under water or in a confined portion of air. But perhaps 
he can approve of that in Drs. Priestley, Ingenhousz, and Sir 
H. Davy, which his confirmed opinioji will not allow him to do 
with respect to Mr. Tatum. If his object be the support of truth, 
I hope he will not sufxer himself to be influenced by partiality, or 
names. I have, it is true, presumed to differ from the above highly 
respectable characters ; but I have yet to learn, by what means 
any of these experimenters ascertained the results of Vegetation on 
air without its being " confined ;" and I hope Mr. Murray will 
have the goodness to inform me, by what peculiar plan he has 
discovered that vegetables pour out such 7/00^5 of oxygen, anr 
he may rest assured I will lose no time in adopting it ; and \ 
will find me far from being backward to give him all the praisf 

Mr. Murray asks, " If the carbonic gas was at all equiva'*' 
to the oxygen set free, whence comes the carbon which b'^® 
up the plant ?" 

I cannot think this question can possibly apply to any''"^ 
related in my paper; for I there contended that oxvgen >5."0^ 
set free, as such I cannot comprehend the object of the (-stion. 
He proceeds to say: " the winter no longer contributir^'^^ ^'"^ 
necessary to life in Europe, the sahitary gas is brough*'^ "^ ^y 
the trade winds from the southern regions." 

Really, sir, Mr. M. has drunk deep of Dr. Priestley V'''"'^''P^^^ 5 
for the Doctor entertained unnecessary apprehensi'^ o^ ^ ^^' 
ficiency of oxygen for respiration, and sought for a 'PP'X' which 
he said he " found in vegetation." So Mr. M. jually appre- 
hensive that the floods poured fortli in Europe would not be 
equal to the consumption, imports it from the fUthern regions. 
But Uaving heard much talk of the superiorityof t'>e oxygen of 
the atmosphere at some parts, over that of oth'is, I was induced 
to ascertain whether such was the case ; but as vet I have not 
been able to discover it, and I find I am no' solitary in my re- 
sults; for Sir H. Davy could not distinguish aiiy difference be- 
tween the air brought from Guinea and thjjt of Bristol; and how 
Q 4 the 

216 Amwer to Geological Queries of ^^ A Constant Reader." 

the gentleman has ascertained by direct experiment that such a 
redundancv of salubrious air exists in the southern regions, 1 am 
at a loss to know. I hope he will have the goodness to point 
out the plan by which he ascertained such an intiportanl phoe-j 
nomenon; which will confer a favour on, 

yir, yours, &c. 
Dorset Street, Salisbuiv Square, J. TaTUM. 

«ei)t. 9, 1817." 
P. S. — Any hints from your correspondent Mr. J. Acton will 
confer a favour, as perhaps I shall pursue the subject ne}(t spring. 

XXXVI. Answer to Geological Queries o/ '< A Constant 
Reader." By Mr. Westgarth Forter. 

To Mr. Tilloch, 

Sir, — i- HAVE observed in your Number for July last, some 
geological queries, by your correspondent, with the signature of 
" A Constant Reader," requesting an early answer thereto. 

I therefore take the opportunity of informing him, with re- 
spect to his 2d quesiion, (" whether or not the great whin sill^ 
or stratum of basalt, shown in p. 152 of my Treatise on a Sec- 
tion of the Strata, &c. has not such a continuous edge on the 
surface, as clearly indicates it to form, like each of the other 
principal strata, a vast extended plane having curved parts within 
e earth, &c ") That wherever I have made observations, or 
ced the great whin -sill, it is as conformable as any other stra- 
, although very variable in thickness, having its under being 
*"wer lieing strata. And it may be traced upwards of fifteen 
"" commencing a little below the smelting-house at Tyne- 
*'vhere it is thrown up to the SW. about sixteen fathoms, 
y '^'nfluence of a great dyke or vein, commonly called the 
Jiack-i^^^ P,. Qrgfi( Sulphur Vein. As we proceed, a little 
above u snielting-house, it disappears, about the distance of 
two nnie j^aving its over lieing stratum upon \t; viz. Tyne- 
vottom ttKgiQj2e, ^c. until we arrive at the river Tees ; where 
n^^'" "^'es its appearance, the Tees running upon it almost 
all the way , ^\-^f^ i-,jgh waterfall at Caldron Snout, where it as- 
sumes Jocaily^/,g appearance of detached and aver lieing masses 
oj uasatt; wh.},^ as Mr, Winch observes, mav very probably 
resemble those f the King'. Park Edinburgh, 'it m'ay be also 
necessary to stai^ there is a level drove in the limestone, under 
the great-whin-sil, not far from Caldron Snout, and near the 
conflux of the rivb Tees, and Maize-Beck ; and this Beck, or 
rivulet, which divines the counties of Westmoreland and York- 
ihirc, near Birdale, mus all the way for the distance of a mile or 


Description of an Apparatus for consuming Fire-damp. 217 

more, W. of the conflux, upon or even, in the whin, where it 
again disappears, by the over heing of Tijiie-hottom limestone, 
which limestone may be traced to the W. up the same Beck, to 
High Cup Nick, where the stratum becomes abrupt, as «e de- 
scend to Dui'ton, and the whin, basseting underneath, and only 
about eight fathoms thick. It may also be observed at Great 
Bundle Beck, where the principal level commences, and is drove 
upon it, to the mines at Dufton-fell. 

I may further add, that tlie same great whinstone-bed occurs 
on the river Wear, near the town of Stanhope, in the county of 
Purham ; but not so thick as at Caldron Snout. 

I shall endeavour to answer the other queries in my next com- 

I am, sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 
G.inigill, August 26, 1817. WestGARTH FoRSTER. 

XXXVII. Description of an Apparatus for consuming Fire- 
damp in the Mines without Danger of an Explosion: — 
Apparatus for re-ligfitmg the Miners' Davy. By Mr. 
J. Murray. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — JL HE sketches which accompany this, represent an ap- 
paratus by which the fire-damp may be consumed on the spot, 
in the mine, without fear of explosion ; and an appendage to 
light the safe-hiuip when extinguished. It is presuu)ed that the 
descriptive account will be found sufficiently explanatory, and 
intelligible. If it should be objected to (fig. I), that its size is 
too great, — it may be observed, that in the Air collieries safe- 
lamps on the principle of the wire-gauze have been used by Mr. 
Taylor three times the size of those constructed by Sir H. Davy. 

1 did not find the plan J originally proposed to relight the 
lamp by any means unequivocal, when tried in the mine. This 
circumstance led to the present invention. 
I am, sir, 

Your most humble servant, 
Douglas, Isle of Msm, Sep. 3, 1817. J. MuRRAY. 

P. S. — The great increase of intensity which I discovered by 
exposing the Galvanic plates for a few minutes to the action of 
the atmosphere, prior to reimmersion into the cells, 1 have since 
repeated very often with the same uniform results. I shall be 
glad to sec these in your next Number. 


2 1 S Appai^alus for re-lighting the Miners' Davy. 

Description of the Figures, 

Fig. 2 (Plate III.) shows a cast-iron urn resting in a vessel of 
lime-water, or cream of lime, to absorb the carbonic acid gas 
formed. It is topped with two folds of wire-gauze at A. At 
BBB are three or more sockets, the orifices of which are covered 
with wire-gauze. In these sockets are fixed tubes of tin C, 
which move up and down to any height like the sliding pipes of 
a perspective or opera glass ; they terminate in a funnel-shaped 
orifice, or they may be jointed, to incline at any angle to receive 
the explosive medium for combustion. The '' Davy" will be 
the index of the requisite height ; the tubes should be raised 
within half an inch of the base of the fire-damp, floating on the 
roof, so that a due admixture of inflammable air and its sup- 
porter may enter the funnel of the tube, together. 

Fig. 3 exhibits a view of the internal insulated wire-gauze, 
being that which imprisons the wick of flame ; it does not touch 
the surrounding cast-iron case or urn, nor even the upper wirc:- 
gauze, on its top. This cage may be made two or three folds. 
The lamp is fed by an oil cistern exterior to the urn, and a fold 
or two of wire-gauze in the communicating pipe will prevent any 
retrogression of flame where the cistern is to be supplied with 
oil. The wick may be of asbestos, which will never need re- 
newal ; and the lamp, first lighted, is screwed tight into the 

Fig. 4 represents the oil cistern of Davy's safe-lamp with two 
separate wicks. A exhibits one of these wicks surrounded by a 
platinum cage. B the reserve wick, vvith an appendnge wliich 
serves at once to elevate the cap and depress the spiral platinum 
wire to ignite the wick ; a the cap attached to the axisy by the 
wire h. c a spring, that when at freedom reacts on the wire 
attached to the cap, which then fails and protects the wick, when 
not required ; J is a spiral platinum wire attaclied by e to the 
axis y", which moves by a button exterior to the wire-gauze. 
The reserve wick is tipped with sulphur. When the wick of the 
lamp A is extinguished by reason of excess of fire-damp, the 
singular combustion of the platinum wire begins, and continues 
until there exists no longer any of the hydrocarbonate. The 
])latinum wire before extinct becomes dull red 5 this will indicate 
an approach to tlie free atn>usphere the moment after, by a se- 
niirotatory movement of the button, the cap is raised, and the 
top of the platinum brought in contact with the wick tipped with 
sulphur, which ignites it. 


[ 219 ] 

XXXVIIT. On the new Theory of the System of the Universe. 
By Sir Richard Phuxips. 

jL he theory which ascribes the subordinate motions on the earth 
to its superior motions as a planet, is opposed by many persons, 
who, assuming that the motions of the planets in a system are 
Jievertlieless governed by gravitation, ascribe incongruity to a 
new doctrine which excludes that principle from the internal or 
local phaenomena of a planet. 

The author of that theory is, however, for good and substan- 
tial reasons, of a totally different opinion. He believes in the 
perfect harmony of natnre — in the exact analogy of causes and 
effects — and, wherever he sees motion, he ascribes it to other 
motion ascending in a series ad iujinitum, or to an unknown 
CAUSE. He therefore gives no credit whatever to the existence 
of any universal principle of causation, such as that called by 
the name of gravitation, but refers all phaenomena to motion^ 
primarily and proximately. 

He was not anxious at present to press this extension of his 
theory on the world, because it is less easy to demonstrate that 
distant planets move one another by impulse, than it is to show 
that loose bodies in a ship, or on the earth, are governed in their 
subordinate phaenomena by the paramount motions of the ship 
or earth. Every one capable of understanding its terms must 
feel as an axiom, fhal the orbicular and rotary motions of the 
earth necessarily give weight to bodies, and Laics to iheir fully 
because the moving earth and the bodies are in contact, and par- 
taking of those common motions; but certain postulata must 
be granted before it can be proved to beings whose experience 
is confined to the subordinate phcenomena of the earth, that dis- 
united planets and masses can operate on each other mechani- 
callv, and communicate motion to one another. 

The postulata re(|uire(l to be admitted are as under : — 

1. That all space is filled with some gaseous medium. 

In the age of Kepler and Newton, the discoveries of Priestley 
had not proved the existence of various gases. An incompressible 
fluid, so light as hydrogen, was not then known to exist. The 
.•■imilar phienomcna of tbe planets; the combustion of meteors 
at great heigbts ; the transmission of solar and planetary light, 
and tbe reflection of the solar light after it has been refracted 
through the atmosphere of a comet, prove, however, that some 
rare medium actually fills space; even if its existence were not 
sufficiently proved by tbe mechanical ph;enomenaof the planets. 

2. 7'//e medium of space is acted upon in straight lines by 
fnoving bodies placed within it. 

It is difficult for men who are accustotncd to see the connexion 


220 On ike new Theory 

of rods or levers of fixed continuous matter between bodies act- 
ing on one another, to conceive that any gas, Hke hydrogen, can 
act by hke agency. But this power of gas will be evident on 
slight consideration ; for, if a tube, or series of tubes, of ten feet 
or a million of feet in length, were filled with hydrogen gas, and 
a plug were driven into one end, so as to require any known 
power less than the strength of the tubes to force it out; then, 
if a piston were forced with that degree of power into the other 
end, it is notorious that the rarest gas would expel the plug as 
effectur.lly as though it were propelled by a continuous rod of 
iron. If space, therefore, be full of any hght gas, or fluid sui 
generis, it is evident that such gas, in such a plenum, must act 
in continuity in filled space, as well as in a filled tube. We 
know that the gas in which we live acts thus at definite distances, 
in proportion to the closeness of the place of experiment ; and 
we must not forget, that in the only situation in which a good 
experiment could be made, the effect of this continuous power 
in mere gas was very remarkable: viz. when Blanchard and 
Jeffreys crossed the Straits of Dover, they threw from their car, 
when at the elevation of two miles, an empty bottle, the fall of 
which on the water produced a sharp conciissinn in the car, 
thereby affording proof of the continued impulse of gas, even 
when the impulse is made in free space. The ascent of 
sound, uid its propagation through distances of three or four 
hundred miles near the earth, is a further proof of such capabi- 
lity, though the vibrations of sound are not exactly of the same 
nature as the propulsion of impulse. 

Corollary. — This important consequence follows, that, as 
impulses in a gaseous medium must act in cones diverging jroni 
the moving power, so the force of the impulse must necessarily 
diminish as the squares of the distance; the impulse from a focus 
through gas being of the nature of the impulse of light, heat, 
and all emanations. 

These are the postulata on which I propose to raise a new 
theory of the universe, without the aid of gravitation.— 'And on 
these bases it cannot be difficult so to combine the laws of mo- 
tion as to account for all the ordinary phaenomena of the uni- 

In such considerations, the governing principle is an exact 
fitness and harmony between causes and effect ; and these im- 
pose the necessity of a balance of powers. A balance of powers 
requires, however, equal momenta ; and equal momenta grow 
out of equal quantities of motion, on two sides (f a fulcrum, 
centre, or axis. 

In Universal Nature there is no up nor down ; there is no na- 
tural disposition of bodies to fall together, or to recede from onfe 

another ; 

of ike System of tfie Universe. 221 

another; and no phaenomenon is produced but by analogous 
causes exactly equal to the effect. Thus motion necessarily pro- 
duces motion, and the existence of motion affords proof of the 
existence of a cause in some superior motion. Disturbance is 
always counteracted by the inertia of matter, and the mutual 
contest between the moving agent and the moved patient, causes 
both to turn round the centres of their masses, or round a ful- 
crum, on each side of which the quantities of motion are forced 
to seek equality. 

In the solar system, the sun is the moving power of all tiie 
planets. Whatever be the origin of its own motions, the sun 
acts, in the ceconomy of the planetary bodies of the solar system, 
like the heart in the ceconomy of the animal system. Its own 
motion may be created by some arrangement within itself — by 
a perpetual motion of divine contrivance — by the cross and re- 
ciprocal actions of the planets — or, according to an hypothesis 
of Herschel, it may have a superior orbit among systems of suns; 
and our planets and their satellites may be its secondaries and 
sub-secondaries ! It will, ho*vvever, satisfy the spirit of philoso- 
phy, if we can trace all those motions, which have hitherto baf- 
fled inquiry, to the natural action of a primnvi mobile like the 
sun ; and v,e may be content there to terminate our inquiries, at 
least for some ages. Thus much seems certain, that the motions 
of the solar system mav be correctly likened to that of a penta- 
graph or polygraph — the planets mimicking the motions of the 
central mass, just as the tracing points mimick those of the ori- 
ginal in the action of that machine; or perhaps the motion of 
the sun may be compared to that of the hand, while whirling a 
string with a weight at the end — the hand moving through a 
circle of one or two inches, giving thereby an orbit of several 
yards to the weight at the end of the string. In universal space, 
however, and in performing absolute motion, the planets move 
in no relations like that of the weight to local and relative powers ; 
and therefore have no inclination to fly off in a tangent * 1 

Iti tracing the effects from their causes, let us suppose the 
solar system to be stationarv: let the sun, whose mass is a given 
nundier of times greater than either of the planets, l)e moved one 
foot — then will each of the planets he moved in the same direc- 
tion, according to a ratio governed hy the positions and hulks 
of the whole, a certain number of feet, as 100,000, or 1,000,000 
feet, according to circumstances. 

Such a circular motion of a preponderating central mass, act- 

* Tlie dispositions to fly "ff in a tiiiip,cnt, ai)d fail to the sun, given to 
the phinets by the Newtonian phihisopliv, are cratuitons aisuniptions, 
which oPC ahnost blushes to name, and aic in)snpp(n-tcrl hy any anidosy, 
and uiiwarrantt'l by the universal simplicity of the tnochineiy oi nature. 

222 On the new Theory 

ing on and through the medium of space upon the pJanetart 
bodies, or upon any agi^regations of matter, would propel them 
into corresponding motions, with forces varying reciprocally as 
the squares of the distances, and directly as the quantities 
of matter to be moved. Hence the orbicular motions of the 

If the result of this action were a balance of momenta in the 
moving bodies, as directly exerted and dissipated in the medium of 
space, then the oibicular motion would terminate the phsenomena; 
but, if the continuous mass of the planetary body were unequally 
acted upon, owing to its sides being of different density, then 
the equal action of the prime mover would drive the lighter 
hemisphere round the heavier (as the Pacific Ocean round the 
old Continent) ; and a rotriry motion would necessarily he ge- 
nerated, whose axis would eijualize the quantities of matter on 
each of its sides. 

Of course such an action, constantly exerted on various bodies 
distributed through space, would cause them to vary their re- 
spective motions, according to their positions in relation to each 
other ; because the force on each would be as their mutual po- 
sitions in regard to the sun.- — Hence the mutual disturbances of 
the 2i»if'orm motions of the planets. 

The motion thus created in every mass would, from a like cause, 
occasion each to act on the other, in proportion to its bulk and 
quantity of matter. The earth and moon would be acted upon 
by the sun ; but the earth would also act upon the moon, more 
than the moon upon the earth, in the proportion of their matter. 
The common action of the sun on both would occasion them of 
necessity to endeavour to turn on the centre of the quantity of 
motioti generated by each. — Hence the revolution of small masses 
round large ones. 

But, as the secondary planets would be governed chieflv and 
proximately by their primaries, and these would possess a power 
of varying the centre of motion by the motion of their fluids, 
which would, from that cause, rise in the parts presented to the 
secondary; so the secondary would not turn on the centre of its 
own mass, but its disposition to do so would be destroyed by the 
varying or accommodating energies of the primary. — Hence the 
peculiar motiom of a secondary planet, and the necessary con- 
nexion of those motions with the tides of the primanj. 

Of course also, as the axis of each mass, or of the joint masses 
of primaries and secondaries, would he constantly turning round 
the physical axis or centre balancing their quantity of motion, 

* Jf the velocities were as the forces cNcrtcd, and the inoinentn were as 
the matter compounded of the square of tlie velocities, then the quantities 
of motion at each end of the line of action would in theory be equal. 


tfthe System of t fie Universe. 223 

Rnd as the moving power in the sun would be constantly im- 
pelling that moving axis — the centre fjf densitij of the single or 
conjoined masses would describe the orbit round the sun^ and its 
variations would tend to vary the curve of the orbit. 

The diameter of the orbit, or the radius vector, would there- 
fore be slightly and regularly varied by any arrangement within 
the planet which enlarged the distance between the centre of 
motion and the centre of matter, as a preponderance of water 
in one hemisphere, either from construction or the melting of 
congealed masses*. Whatever varies the rotation of the axis of 
motion (that is, of the mass,) round the axis of the real matter 
in a planet, would necessarily vary its rotary impulse, increase 
or diminish its centrifugal force, and give a variation to the 
length of the radius vector ; and hence the elliptical form of 
the orbits of the planets. 

The masses of each planet would be kept together, and acci- 
dental disturbances in the arrangement of the parts wduld be 
restored by the subjection of each part to the paramount motions 
of the whole, as proved in my previous essay. 

The medium of space, whatever it may be, would thus be an 
acting cause of motion, like a current of the sea, and not a means 
of resistance, as has been mistakenly supposed. 

There would be no occult principle of attraction or gravitation 
concerned in any part of the phaenomena; but the whole would 
be a necessarv result of the known laws of motion, at once sub- 
ordinate, analogical, harmonious, and fit. The phaenomena of 
the universe are the results of a system of motion producing mo- 
tion; and of motion generated by motion. By this agency a 
stone is propelled to a planet by the motions of the planet — a 
planet is carried round the sun by the motions of the sun — a se- 
condary is carried round a primary by the joint motions of the 
sun and primary — and the motions of the sun are, perhaps, 
caused by the motions of systems of suns — while the motions of 
those systems may again be caused by other superior motions! 
In short, all nature consists of a series of included motions pro- 
duced by the motions of superior bodies and systems, till we 
ascend to the first term in the series — an inscrutable cause of 


The general mathematical laws would be the same as those here- 
tofore determined, though the results would be produced by dif- 
ferent trains of reasoning. The data would however be more 

* It seems to be si iieressari/ fact, that the cause which varies tlic direc- 
tion of motion, or tiio cr|ual orbit of n planet, should oxist «irhiu 
the phinet il-iL-lf, and grow out of accidents uriising fioiu its gineral mo- 


224' Notices res pec ling New Books. 

precise and analogical, and the deductions, therefore, be more 

I infer, generally, that motion is the primary and proximate 
cause of all phcenomena; that it operates in a dtscevdine. series 
from the rotation of the sun ronnd the fulcrum of the solar sy- 
stem, to the fall of an apple to the earth; that, as transferred 
through all nature from iti source, motion serves a« the effi- 
cient cause of every species of vitality, of every organic arrange- 
ment, and of all those accidents of body heretofore ascribed to 
gravitation; and, I ventwe further to suggest, as a theological 
deduction, quite as probable as the doctrine of the Neivtonians, 
tvhich ascribes their gravitating or projectile force to the imme- 
diate agency of the Deity., that motion, as a great secondary 
cause, may be regarded, in its uniform operation from the great 
to the small, as the hand o/" omnipotence; luhile, as a princi- 
ple of causation, it necessarily involves the attribute of omni- 

However heretical this theory may appear to partisans of " the 
gravitating principle," to believers in " gravitating particles," 
to devotees of " harmonic numbers," to geometricians who con- 
sider the laws of curves as laws in physics, or to philosophers who 
conceive that body may act without material intervention where 
it is not, I consign it to the guardianship of the press, in full 
confidence that it will surmount opposition, and endure as long 
as the system which it describes. 

R. Phillips. 

XXXIX. Notices respecting New Books. 

An Experimental Inqjiiry into the Laws of the Vital Functions ; 
with some Observations on the Nature and Treatment of In- 
ternal Biseases . By A. P. Wilson Philip, M.D. F.R.S.E. 
8vo. 360 pages. 

JLn our Number for May, we announced that this work was in 
the press. It has now made its appearance. It is divided into 
two parts. In Part I. the author treats of the state of our know- 
ledge respecting the principle on which the action of the heart 
and blood-vessels depends, and the relation which subsists be- 
tween them and the nervous system ; giving a translation of the 
Report of the Committee of the National Institute of France, on 
the experiments of M. le Gallois, which he considers as accurate, 
Weill arranged, and sufficiently comprehensive for this purpose. 
In other respects, however, he considers this Report as not de- 
serving^ the same praise, an " it overlooks defects both in M. 


Notices respecting New Bonks. 225 

Gallois' experiments and reasonings, of such moment, as wholly 
to in\'alidate all his most important conclusions; and to leave 
him the discoverer of certain unconnected though most valuable 
facts, instead of the author of a new system, foun<led, as the Re- 
j)Qrt alleges, on a basis never to be shaken. In Part II. the au- 
thor relates his own experiments, and points out the inferences 
to which they seem to lead — respecting the principle on which 
the action of the heart and vessels of circulation depends ; the 
relation which subsists between these and the nervous system ; 
the principle on which the action of the muscles of voluntary 
motion depends, and the relation which they bear to the nervous 
system ; the principle on which the action of the vessels of se- 
cretion depends, and the relation which they bear to the nervous 
system ; the nature of the nervous influence ; the principle on 
which the action of the alimentary canal depends, and the rela- 
tion which it bears to the nervous system ; digestion, and the 
effects produced on the stomach and lungs by destroying certain 
portions of the spinal marrow, compared with those by dividing 
one or both of the eighth pair of nerves. 

The author then proceeds to " the temperature of the animals 
in those experiments in which portions of the spinal marrow 
were destroyed," or, generally, " the cause of animal tempera' 
tnre." Alluding to Mr. Brodie's Croonian lecture for 1810, in 
which he gave an account of experiments which led to the in- 
ference, that the production of animal temperature is under the 
influence of the nervous system; to the same gentleman's ex- 
periments in the Philosophical Transactions of 1812, tending to 
strengthen this inference; and to his own, which tend to prove 
that the caloric which supports animal temperature, is evolved 
by the same means, namely, the action of the nervous influence 
on the blood, by which the formation of the secreted fluids is 
effected, and consequently that it is to be regarded as a secre- 
tion — he observes that " if this view of the subject be correct, 
and galvanism be capable of performing the functions of the 
nervous influence, it ought to occasion an evolution of caloric, as 
it effects the formation of secreted fluids, from arterial blood, 
after the nervous influence is withdrawn." To as,')ertain this 
point, certain experiments were made on animals, which he de- 
tails at length, and which, he suggests, " afford by their result a 
strong argument in favour of the identiii/ of the nervous in- 
Jluence and galnanism. " Me next considers the use of the gan- 
glions ; the relation which tlie different functions of the animal 
body bear to each other, and the order in which they cease in 
dying; reviews the inferences from his experiments and observa- 
tions ; and concludes with the application of these to explain 
the nature and improve the treatment of diseaHCs. 
Vol. 50. No. 2-3:i. Sept. 1817. P The 

226 Nvlices respecting New BwjIu. 

TJie work before us deserves much attention from medical 
men. As a specimen of the author's style, and the way in' which 
he applies the result of his inquiries to useful purposes, we select 
the following from the concluding part of his work : He says : 
" I cannot help regarding it as almost ascertained, that in those 
diseases in which the derangement is in the nCTVous power alone, 
where the sensorial functions are entire, and the vessels healthy, 
and merely the power of secretion, which seems iuunediately to 
depend on the nervous system, is in fault, galvanism will often 
prove a valuable means of relief." 

" Of Asthma and Djspeps'in. 

" The following observations relate chiefly to affections of the 
lungs. Of the effects of galvanism in dyspepsia, the principal 
experience which I have vet had, has been in cases where it was 
complicated with asthmatic breathing. 

" When the effect of depriving the lungs of a considerable 
part of their nervous influence is carefully attended to, it will be 
found, I think, in all respects similar to a common disease, which 
may be called habitual asthma; in which the breathing is con- 
stantly oppressed, better and worse at different times, but never 
free, and often continues to get worse in defiance of every means 
we can employ, till the patient is permanently unfitted for all 
the active duties of life. The animal, in the above experiment, 
is not affected with the croaking noise and violent agitation 
which generally characterize fits of spasmodic asthma. This 
state we cannot induce artificially, except by means which lessen 
the aperture of the glottis. 

"^ We have seen from repeated trials, that both the oppressed 
breathing and the collection of phlegm, caused by the division 
of the eighth pair of nerves, may be prevented bv sending a 
stream of galvanism through the lungs *^. That this may be 
done with safety in the human body we know from numberless 
instances, in which galvanism has been applied to it in every 
possible way. 

*' Such are the circumstances which led me to expect relief 
from galvanism in habitual asthma. It is because that expecta- 
tion has not been disappointed, that I trouble tlie reader with 
the following account of its effects. Although the effects of gal- 
vanism in hsibitual asthma have been witnessed by many other 
niedical men, I have mentioned nothing in the following pages 
which did not come under mv own observation. 

*' I have employed galvanisu\ in many cases of habitual asthma, 
and almost uniformly with relief. The time, during which the 
galvanism was applied before the patient said that his breathing 

* Exp. 46, 47, 48, 49. 


Motices respecting Netv Books. 227 

was easy, has varied iVom five minutes to a quarter of an Iiour. 
I speak of its application in as great a degree as the patient 
could bear without complaint. For this effect 1 generally found 
from eight to sixteen four-incti plates of zinc and copper, the 
fluid employed being one part of muriatic acid, and twenty of 
water, sufficient, Some require more than sixteen plates, and 
a few cannot bear so many as eight; for the sensibility of dif- 
ferent individuals to galvanism is very different. It is curious^ 
and not easily accounted for, that a considerable power, that 
perhaps of twentv-five or thirty plates, is often necessary on first 
applying the galvanism, in order to excite any sensation ; yet 
after the sensation is orice excited, the patient shall not perhaps, 
particularly at first, be able to bear more than six or eight plates. 
The stronger tbe sensation excited, the more speedy in general 
is the relief. I have known tlie breathing instantly relieved by a 
very strong power. I have generally made it a rule to begin with a 
very weak one, increasing it gradually at the patient's request, 
by moving one of the wires from one division of the trough to 
another, and moving it back again when he complained of tiie 
sensation being too strong. It is convenient for this purpose to 
charge with tlie fluid about thirty plates. 

" The galvanism was applied in the following manner. Tuo 
thin plates of metal ai)ont two or three inches in diameter, dipped 
in neater, were applied, one to the nape of tbe neck, the other 
to the pit of the stomach, or rather lower. The wires from the 
different ends of the trough* were brought into contact with 
these plates, and, as observed above, as great a galvanic power 
maintained, as the |)atieut could bear without complaint. In 
this way the galvanic inlhience was sent through the lungs, as 
ihuch as possible, in the direction of their nerves. It is proper, 
constantly to move the wires upon the metal i)lates, particularly 
the negative wire, otherwise the cuticle is injured in the places 
on which tbey rest. The relief seemed much the same, whether 
the positive wire was applied to the nape of the reck, or the pit of 
the stomach. The negative wire generally excites the strongest 
sensation. Some patients thought, that the relief was most 
speedy, when it was applied near the pit of the stomach. 

" The galvanism was discontinued as soon as the patient said 
that his breathing was easy. In the first cases in which I used 
it, I sometimes prolonged its application for a quarter of an hour, 
or twenty niinutes, after the patient said he was perfectly relieved, 
in the hope of preventing the early recurrence of the dyspnoea; 
but I did not find that it had this effect. It is remarkable, that ia 
several who had laboured under asthmatic breathing for from ten 

• I found a trough of the old construction answer licttcr than the im- 
proved i)ile, whicli is so inucli bujierior for most purposes. 

1^2 t» 

228 Notices respecting New Booh. 

to twenty years, it gave relief quite as readilv as in more recent 
cases; which proves, that the habitual difficulty of breathing, 
even in the most protracted cases, is not to be ascribed to any 
permanent change having taken place in the lun^s. 

" With regard to that form of asthma which returns in violent 
paroxysms, with intervals of perfectly free breathing, I should 
expect little advantage from galvanism in it, !)ecause, as I have 
jw'st observed, I found that the peculiar difficulty of breathing, 
which occurs in this species of asthnm, cannot be induced in 
animals, except by means lessening the aperture of the glottis. 
It is probable, that in the human subject the cause ])roducing 
this effect is spasm, from which indeed the disease takes its name, 
and we have no reason to believe, from what we know of the 
nature of galvanism, that it will be found the means of lelaxing 

[To be continued.] 

Mr. Accunj, antlior of several well-known works on Cliemistrv 
and Mineralogy, has just published a ilew work entitled " Che- 
mical Amusement," comprising a series of curious and instruc- 
tive experiments on chemistry, which are easily performed and 
unattended with danger. The work has been written, the au- 
thor states, " vv'ith a view to blend chemical science with rational 
aniusemcnt. To the student they may serve as a set of popidar 
instructions for performing a variety of curious and useful ex- 
periments well calculated for illustrating the most striking 
facts which the science of chemistry has to offer. To give effect 
to this object, the author has selected such experiments only as 
may be performed with ease and safety in the closet, and the ex- 
hibition of which requires neither costly apparatus nor compli- 
cated instruments. And that the experiments may be of greater 
value than merely to afford amusement for a. leisure hour, he has 
added the explanation to each individual process, in order to en- 
able the operator to contemplate the phenomena with advantage 
as particular objects of study, if his inclination sliould lead him 
that way." 

The first numlier of a new periodical work, entitled " Journal 
of the Acadomv of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia," has just 
reached this country from America. It contains, 1st, Descrip- 
tions of six new species of the genus F/rola, from the Mediter- 
ranean, by MM. de Sueur and Peron, with a plate, 2d, An ac- 
count of the new mountain sheep, Ouis montuiia, by Mr. George 
Ord ; with a wood engraving of the horn of the animal, 3d, A 
description of seven American water and land shells, by Mr. 
Thoinui Say. 


Notices respecting New Bonks. 229 

'fHiiother Part (II. Vol. XI.) has appeared of The Etliuburgh 
Encyclopaedia, conducted by Dr. Brewster. 

The principal articles are, Hybernation, Hydrodynamics, Hy- 
ji;rometry, Jamaica, Japan, Java, Ice, Iceland, Ichthyology, Idria, 
Jedburgh, Jcrsev, Jernsalem, Jesuits, and Jews. 

In the article Ilydrodynaniics, the various subjects of Hydro- 
statics, Specific Giavlticp, Ilvrirometers, Equitii'riun) of Floating 
Bodies, Capillary Attraction and Cohesion, Hydrostatic Instru^ 
ments. Hydraulics, Motion of Water in Tubes, Pipes^ and Ca- 
nals, Resistance of Fluids, and Hydraulic Machinery, are treated 
in a plain and popular manner, so a^ to be easily understood by 
those wlio have but a slight acquaintance with Mathematics. — 
Among the parts of this article which have never before appeared 
in our language, are an account of Laplace's Theory of Capillary 
Attraction; of Gay-Lussac's Instrument for measuring the Ascent 
of Water in Capillary Tubes; Venturi's Experiments on Floating 
Cvlinders of Camphor ; Girard's E.xperiments on the Effect of 
Heat r.pon the Motion of Fluids; and Prony's Researches on the 
Motion of Water in Pipes and Canals. The Experiments of Mr. 
Smeaton, on the Motion of Water in Pipes, are here printed, for 
the first time, from the MSS. of that celebrated Engineer, and 
the Description of some new Hydrometers, of Burns's Overshot 
Wheel without an Axle; of Burns's Sluice Governor; and of the 
Screw Engine, erected at the Hurlcnt Alum -works, have never 
before been pul)lished. New Tables for facilitating the applica- 
tion of Dubaut'sFormuLx have also been computed for this article, 
bv Mr. Lawrie of Glasgow. The article Hygrometry contains aa 
account of the recent investigations of Gay-Lussac andBiot, and 
of many inrportant discoveries made l)V Mr. Anderson of Perth, 
the author of the article, who has reduced into the form of a 
science a subject hitherto obscure and little understood. 

The article Ice contains an account of the Observations of 
Mr. Scoresby on the Polar Ice; and the article Iceland is written 
by an eminent traveller, who lately visited that interesting 

The Second Part of Lackington and Co's Catalogue, con- 
taining the Classes, curious and rare Books, old Plays, Astro- 
logy, Poetry, and the Arts, Philosopiiv, Natural History, Games 
and Sports, &c. &:c. is now published. The Tl;ird Part, con- 
taining Greek and Latin Classics and Books in all foreign Lan- 
guages, will be pul)li.shed in October; and the Fourth and last 
Part at Christmas, which will contain a very large Collection ot 
Divinity, and an Appendix of additions to all the Classes. 

Part the First, of English and Foreign History, Voyages, Tra- 
vel!), and Miscellaneous, is recently published, 

P3 XL. In- 

[ 230 ] 
XL. Intelligence and Miscellaneous Articles. * 


iVlR. Davy, Professor of Chemistry in the Cork Institution, 
whilst pursuing some investigations on platinum, formed a pecu- 
liar compound of this metal which has some remarkable proper- 
ties. When it comes in contact with the vapour of alcohol at the 
common temperature of the air, there is an immediate chemical 
action, the platinum is reduced to the metallic state, and the heat 
produced is sufficient to ignite the metal and to continue it in a 
state of ignition. It would at present be premature to offer any 
conjectures on the uses to which this new compound may be ap- 
plied; but from the peculiar properties both of the metal and the 
compound, there is reason to believe it will admit of some im- 
portant applications. Mr. Davy has already empljyed it as a 
simple aiid easy means of affording heat and light. To produce 
heat, nothing more is necessary than to moisten any porous ani- 
mal, vegetable, or mineral substance, as sponge, cotton, asbestos, 
iron filings, sand, &c. with alcohol or whiskey, and let a bit of 
the compound fall on the substance so moistened ; it instantly be- 
comes red hot, and continues to remain so wliilst any spirit re- 
mains; nor is it extinguished by exposure to the atmosphere, or 
by blowing the breath on it; on the contrary, partial currents of 
air only make the ignited metal glow brighter. The heat pro- 
duced in this way may be accumulated to a considerable extent 
by increasing the quantity of the materials employed. On these 
facts, Mr. Davy has constructed a sort of tinder box that answers 
very well to procure immediate light. The box contains two 
small phials, and some sulphur matches tipped at the points nith 
averyminute bit of phosphorus; one of the phialscontains the com- 
pound ; the other a little alcohol. The phial-^ may either have glass 
stopples or corks. The stopper of the phial containing the alcohol 
has a small aperture at the bottom, in which there is inserted a bit 
of sponge; this is kept moistened but not quite wet with alcohol. 
When a light is wanted, it is only necessary to take out the stop- 
per and put a bit of the compound no bigger than the head of a 
pin on the moistened sponge; it instantly becomes red hot, and 
will immediately light one of the 

This mode of igniting a metal and keeping it in a constant state 
of ignition, is quite a novel fact in the history of Chemistry, and 
affords a happy illustration of the facts pointed out by Sir Hum- 
phry Davy in his late able and scientific researches, which have 
thrown so much light on the philosophy of flame, led to such 
brilHantand highly important results, and will probably admit us 
to a more intimate acquaintance with Nature in her refined and 
elaborate operations, 


Chlorine. — Steam Engines. — Safety-lamp. 



Dr. lire of Glasgow has lately finished a very elaborate series 
of experiments on the controversial snbject of chlorine. Their 
principal object was to ascertain whether water, or its elements, 
existed in and could be extracted from muriate of ammonia. He 
has perfectly succeeded in obtaining water from the dry and re- 
cently sublimed salt, by methods quite unexceptionable. The 
vapour of such muriate of ammonia being transmitted through 
laminae of pure silver, copper and iron, ignited in glass tubes, 
water aiid hydrogen were copiously evolved, while the pure metals 
were converted into metallic muriates. This fact is decisive, in 
the Doctor's opinion, of the great chemical controversy relative to 
chlorine and muriatic acid, and seems clearly to establish the for- 
mer theory of Berthollet and Lavoisier, in opposition to that 
more lately advanced by !>ir H. Davy with such apparent cogency 
of argument as to have led ahnost all the chemists of Europe to 
embrace his opinion. The details of the experiments have been 
communicated some time since to a distinguished member of the 
Roval Society, and will be speedily laid before the public. This 
decomposition of the salt by the metals, at an elevated tempera- 
ture, is analogous to the decomposition of potash in ignited giiis- 
barrels, by Gav-Lussac and Thenard. 


It appears from Messrs. Lean's Report, that during the month 
of August 29 engines performed the following work with each 
bushel of coals. 


er lifted \ foot hliih' 

lAxtrl per sgtntre 

wUh iwh liii'slit'l. 

inch ill ctflmtkr. 

21 common engines averaged 



Woolf's at Wheal Vor 


15-5 lib. 

Ditto Wh. 7\braham 

.•: 1,067,670 


Ditto ditto 



Ditto Wh. Unity 



Dalconth engine 



Wheal Abraham ditto 



United Mines ditto . . 


18 1 

Wheal Chance ditto 




Sir Humphry Daw has made a further discovery in regard to 
combustion, which will prove a very great improvement to his 
safety lamp. He thus describes it in a letter to the Rev. J. Hodg- 
son of Heworth: — 

" 1 have succeeded in producing a light perfectly safe and 
economical, which is most ir'itUnnt in atmospheres in which the 

V 4 flame 

232 Trigonometrical Survey. — Eruption of Vesuvius. 

flame of the safety-lamp is extinguished, and which burns in every 
mixture of carburetted hydrogen gas that is respii able. It con- 
sists of a slender metallic: tissue of platinum, which is hung in the 
top of the interior of the common lamp of wire gauze, or in that 
of the twilled lamp. It costs from Gd. to Is., and is im],eri'-h- 
able. This tissue, v.hen the common lamp is introduced iiuo an 
explosive atmosphere, becomes red hot, and continues to burn 
the gas in contact with it as long as the air is res])iral)le; when 
the atmosphere again becomes explosive, the jiame is relighted. 
I can now burn any inflammable vapour either with or without 
flame at pleasure, and make the wire consume it with red 
or white heat. I was led to this result by discovering slow com- 
bustions without flame, and at last I found a metal which made 
these harmless combustions visible." 


Dr. Olinthus Gregory and Colonel Mudge, vvho it will be re- 
collected formed a part of the scientific association which lately 
proceeded to the Zetland Isles, have just returned. Captain Col- 
by and M. Biot remain in Zetland a few weeks longer ; the for- 
mer for the purpose of terminating his observations \vith Rams- 
den's zenith sector, and then of connecting the chief points in 
thetriangulation; the latter, in order to witness the pha^nomena 
of the Aurorse Boreales in these high latitudes. Dr. Gregory 
having ascertained what is technically denominated " the rale " 
of Pennington's astronomical clock at Ralca, in north latitude 
60. 45, proposes staving a short time at Aberdeen, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the rate of the same clock there, by means of 
astronomical observations with the excellent instruments in the 
Observatory at Marischal College. 


A letter from Naples, dated .July 20, says — " The present 
eruptions of Vesuvius arc astonishing. Copper, iron, alkaline 
acid, sulphur, sulphuric acid, chalk, and ammonia, form salts that 
are sometimes in a mass and sometimes divided. It is observed 
that copper is very nuich mixed witli volcanic matter; cpianfitics 
of it are found amouii' the different kinds of lava. Vesuvius, which 
since the year \H\3 has been more or less in a state of commo- 
tion, has entirelv covered its former crater with a thick crust, 
over which the new eruptions have thrown two little mountains, 
from which come smoke, ashes, and vitrified stones. The earth 
is covered with bits of transparent glass. This crust is so consi- 
derable, that, if it is not propped up, the sinking of the matter 
composing it will produce an effect like that of the eruption which 
pook place iu the time of Titus." 


Nautical Almanack. 233 


To Mr. Tilloch. 
Sir, — It is to be regretted that the omissions and erroneous 
figures and calculations still continue to be so numerous in the 
Nautical Almanack, to the great hazard and danger of our na- 
vigation and commerce. It would render that work in some de- 
gree more useful to the nation, if you would publish in your 
useful Magazine the following, being part of the errata in the 
Almanack for the year 1819. Terricola. 

Facing pa. I. Moon's eclipse, April 10, middle 51-^ query S-^^. 
Pa. 4. g gr. elong. 31 day 5, for day. 

9 passage merid. day 25, for 21 13, read 21 23. 

— 18, last col. 1st day, add N. 

■ 5 dav, right ascens. midnight, for 88 44, read 89 44. 

— 28, 1 day, 11 declin. after 19 24 set S. 

— 37, 28 day, for Easter T. ends, set Easter T. begins. 

— 38,days 12, 13,14, 15, equat. of time, for 1, 1,1,1, set 0,0,0,0. 

— 40, jS helioc. long. 13 day, for 79, set 19. 

— 42, 9 day, declin, noon, after 1 10 set S. 

— 4.9, 17 day in the Calendar, set Prs. of Wales lorn. 

— 50, 16 day, declin. for 85, set 58. 

— 52, 5 gr- elong. for dav5 read dav. 

13 day, last col. for 12 59, set 22 59. 

11 1 diiy, declin. after 16 49, set S. 

last col. for 18 13, set 18 39. 

13 day, last col. for 17 56, set 17 55. 

— 54, 19 day, passage merid. for 22 12, set 21 12. 

— 61, 10 day, in the Calendar, set Corpus Christi. 

— 62, 5 dav, col. equat. of time, for 1 2, 2, set 2 2, 2. 

— 64, c?, 19 day, declin. for 1 1 59, set 12 59. 

— 66, 27 day, passag. merid. for 5 52, set 3 52. 

— 76, last line, helioc. long, read 8 22 56. 

— 85, in the Calendar, 7 day, dele Prs. Amelia h. 
, 1 1 day, dele Ds. of Bruns. b. 

— 86, 21 day, col. equat. of time, for 3 9, 9, set 3 3, 9. 

— 88, 5 , 28day, geocen. long, for 5 27, set 5 21. 
, 1/, 25 dav, last col. for 10 54, set 10 34. 

— 100, ^ , 16 day, helioc long, for 2 30, set 1 30. 

, H, geocen. long. 7 dav, for 9 33, set 8 31. 

, 13 (lav, for 8 3, set 8 5 . 

, 19 day, for 7 43, set 7 44. 

, \2 ) helioc. long. 1 dav,"for 26 90, set 26 40. 

, »J, last col. 21 dav, for 6 27, set 5 27. 

— 102, 12 day, rt. asc. m'idn. for 96 25, set 98 25. 
«——, 30 dav, declin. noon, for 27 14, set 17 14. 

Pa. 112, 

234 Lectures. 

Pa. 112, 5 , geoc. long. 1 day, for 4 17, set 5 17. 

-,19 day, for 27 57, set 27 47- 

<? , 13 day, for 20 23, set 3 20 23. > 

— 1 13, long, noon, 27 day, for 10 15, set 10 19. 

— 114, passage meiid. 3 day, for 11 IS, set 12 IS, 

— 121,3 day, set Prs. Sophia h. 

— 133, full moon, for 1 1 1, set 1 6 11. 

— 138, rt. asceus. midn. 11 day, for 191 85, set 191 55. 


The following arrangements have been made for Lectures at 
the Suvrv Institution during the ensuing Season : — 

1. On Ethics, by the Rev. W. B. Collyer, D.D. F.S.A. To 
commence on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at Seven o'clock in the evening, 
and to be continued on each succeeding Tuesdav. 

2. On Chemistry, by James Lowe Wheeler, esq. To commence 
on Friday, Nov. 7, and to be continued on each succeeding Fri- 
day evening at the same hour. 

3. On the British Poets, from Chaucer to Covvper, by Wm. 
Hazlitt, Esq. To commence early in Jan. 1818. 

4. On Music, by Wm. Crotch, Mus. D. Professor of Music 
in the University of Oxford. To commence early in Feb. 1818. 

Mr. T. J. Pettigrew, F.LS. Surgeon Extraordinary to their 
Royal Highnesses the Pukes of Kent and Sussex, will commence 
his Winter Course of Lectures on Anatomy, Physiology, and 
Pathology, on Friday the 17th of October, at Eight o'clock in 
the evening precisely. The Lectures will be continued every 
succeeding Wednesday and Friday at the same hour, until com- 
pleted. Particulars may be known by applying to Mr. P., Bolt 
Court, Fleet-street. 

Dr. Clutterbuck will begin his Autumn Course of Lectures on 
the Theory and Practice of Physic, Materia Medica, and Che- 
mistry, on Friday, Oct. 3d, at Ten o'clock in the morning, at 
his house, No. 1, in the Crescent, New Bridge Street, where fur- 
ther particulars may be had. 

Pupils are admitted as usual, to attend the medical practice of 
the Dispensary, and, when qualified, to visit the patients at home. 
Clinical Lectures on the most interesting and instructive cases 
that occur, will be eiven weekly by the Physicians in rotation. 

The Lectures on Midwifery at the Middlesex Hospital, by 
Dr. Merriman, Physician -Accoucheur to that Hospital, and 
Dr. LeVjPhysician-Accoucheurto the Westminster Lying-in Hos- 
pital, will recommence as usual early in October. 

Mr. Clarke will commence his Lectures on Midwifery and the 
Diseases of Women and Children, on Friday, October 10th. The 
Lectures are read every morning from a quarter past Ten to a 


Lectures. — Patents. 235 

quarter past Eleven, for the convenience of Students attending 
the Hospitals. For particulars apply to Mr. Clarke at the Lec- 
ture Room, 10, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens. 

Mr. Guthrie, Deputy Inspector of Military Hospitals, will 
commence his Autumn Course of Lectures on Surgery, on Mon- 
day the 6th of Octoher, at Five minutes past Eight in the even- 
ing, in the Waiting-room of the Royal Westminster Infirmarv 
for Diseases of the Eye, Mary-Ie-hone Street, Piccadilly. To be 
continued on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

Two Courses will be delivered during the Season. 

In each Course the Principles of Surgery will be explained, 
and the practice resulting from them, with reference both to 
Domestic and Military Surgery, fully pointed out. 

The Operations referred to in the Lectures will be shown in 
each Course. 

Terms of Attendance. — Perpetual Five guineas. Single Course 
Three guineas. 

Medical Officers of the Navy, the Army, and the Ordnance, 
will be admitted gratis, on obtaining a recommendation from the 
Heads of their respective departments, which must be presented 
to Mr. Guthrie between the hours of Two and half-past Four, at 
his House, No. 2, Berkeley Street, Berkeley Square. 

Mr.Gaulter will deliver in the ensuing Season, two Courses of 
Lectures on the Physiology of the Human Body, at No. 10, 
Frith-street, Soho-square. The Lectures will be given on Mon- 
day and Thursday Evenings at a Quarter past Eight o'clock, 
after the Surgical Lectures are concluded. The Introductory 
Lecture of the first Course will be on Thursday the 9th of Oc- 

*^* In last Number we stated that the Course of Lectures at 
Guy's Hospital, on the Structure and Diseases of the Teeth, was 
to be delivered by Mr. Fox; instead of which it should have been 
by Mr. Thomas Bell, who has been appointed to succeed Mr. Fox. 


To John Perks, of Carey-street, St. John's, Westminster, Mid- 
dlesex, for certain improvements in the apparatus for manufac- 
turing, purifying and storing gas. — Dated 5th August 1817. — 
6 months allowed to enroll specification. 

To Thomas Taft, of Birmingham, for an improvement in bridb 
and other reins used and affixed to bitts and leather .sliding loop 
to act with reins and bitts. — 5th Au'^ust. — 6 months 

To Samuel Mersey the yoimger, of Long- Acre, Middlesex, 
for his improved mode or method of weaving, making, and ma- 
nufacturing of livery lace and coach lace. — 7th August. — 2 


236 Astronomy. — Meteorology. 


D. H. M. 

D. H. M. 


I T of 125 « * 5' S. 
E J of J 's cent. 

13. 1.12 

1) S vi\l 



5 Tl 


)) V n 

14. 8 8 

D Ophiuchi 




)) 4. 1 

8.11. 5 

D 3vnjt 


i tr ;■ 


]) ytlK 

18 15.23 

D sVS 

10. 2 10 

D 9 m 

23. 34 

enters n^j 

11. 8, 4 

D XiiJt 

2-4. 2.30 

1) 110 K 

11.21. 3 

]) a ii 

26. 0. 

B in apogee 

12. 0, 

J in perigee 

29. 0. 

]) 125 a 


]) X -V 

31. 3. 6 

)) u U 

The eclipse of Jupiter's 3d satellite on tlie 23<l, which is set down ii) tlio 
Nautical Almanack, :is visible at Greenwich, will not be visible. Indeed 
the only one that is so, is the emersion of" the first satellite on the 29th, 
which is not marked in the Almanack, '['hi emtrsion of the tliird on the 
9th at li' 17"' 21'' ought to be 2'> 17'" 24^ 


Sim's Atmosphere. 

[From tlie Political Zfitvin: of iMunich, of the lOlh August. J 
"The great and remarkable opening in the sun's atmosphere 
of clouds {wolkigen sonvena/.mosp/iare), of which notice lias been 
lately taken, was visible only a little before it vanished at the 
western edge on the 5th of August, at which period a number of 
little openings began to unite themselves into two spots; storms 
and much rain followed. It must be of great utility to farmers 
to be able to foretel fair or stormy weather, from observations of 
the spots on the sun, which are easily examined in the middle of 
summer, in the same way as we can do for the coming day or 
night, by the rising and setting sun. A great number of the 
latest observations confirm Herschel's opinion, that like the planets 
{yerander lichen sternen) one half of the sun is less favourable to 
an abundant discharge of rays than the other, and that many spots 
on the sun make the year wanner and more fruitful. So much 
is certain, that in defect of spots on the sun, the atmosphere is 
more serene, as happened in the year ISl 1, in which none ap- 
peared during the whole summer; but it showed likewise that 
such a year must not of necessity be unfruitful, as was the case in 
the years 1795 and 1799. It is yet more certain that very warm 
and very cold weather can alone depend on the periodical abun- 
dance or scarcity of combustible matter {Irennsinff) in the sun, 
since the moon and the planets can neither cause heat nor cold. 
In the year 541, which was one of famine and pestilence, the 
rays of the sun, according to Cedrenus, were as feeble as those 
of the moon, and yet the weather was so clear that in Italy they 


Meteorology. 237 

observed tlie comets of that time; the clironicle writers remark, 
that excessively div summers (as the year 763, and the year 1800, 
remarkable for spots on the sun, and woods taking fire,) follow a 
very copious appearance of meteors [slernschmtppen) . In na- 
ture great matters more constantly depend upon each other than 
minute, :\\\i.\ it becomes us to observe and take advantage of 
that dependance: it is to be wished therefore, that meteorologists 
may apply themselves to a diligent observation of the spots on 
the sun." — » — 

Aleteorological Observations kept at fFaltkamstow, Essex, from 
August 15 to September 15, 1817. 

[Usually hetucoii tl;c Hours of Seven and Nine A.M. and the Thermometer 
(a second time) between Nuon and Two P.M.j 

Date. Therm. Biirom. Wind. 

S— SW. — Sunshine; slight showers, and sun, 
and windy; fine day; bright star-light. 

SW — SE. — Sun and hazy; cloudy and windyj 
fine afternoon ; showers after 5 P.M. 

W — SW. — Sun and clouds, and wind; showers 
and sun; bright star-light. 

W — SW. — Cirrostratus, and calm; cloudy; 
showers after 3 P.M.; damp and hazy; much 
rain in the last night. 

SW — SVV. — Cloudy and hazy; showery day; 
cloudy. Moon first quarter. 

SW. — Clear and cumuli', fine day; moon- and 

N. — Wind and rain ; great showers ; stars and 

NW — NE.— Clear and windy; clear and cu- 
7?2uli ; very fine day; moon through cirro- 

E. — Clear and windy; clear and cumuli j very 
fine day; clear moon- and star-light. 

E. — Cloudy; showery about noon; fine after- 
wards; a shower at 9 P.M. 

E — SE. — Gray; rainy after 7 A.M.; showers 
all day; clear star-light. 

E — SE. — Fine clear morn; great showers, 
and Sim ; stars, and cirrostratus. Full mt)on. 

SE—SW—W—NW.— Clear and cirrostra- 
tus ; fine day; very slight showers ; stars and 

NW — SW. — Fine, sim, and wind; very fine 
day; no rain this day; cloudy, but light. 











29 65 






































238 Meteorology. 

W. — Clear, and cirrostratus ; fine dayj slight 
showers, and sun 5 clear moon and star-light. 

SW — W. — Very fine morn ; cloudy, and dark ; 
some rain in the evening. 

SW. — Sun and wind; fine day; windy; no 
rain today ; bright star-light. 

SE — SE. — Fine morning; calm; fine day; 

hot; no rain; star-light. 
NE — SE. — Sun and hazy; white dew; very 

fine day; dark night at 9 P.M.; star-light 

SE. — Very hot fine morning; fine day; star- 
light. Moon last quarter. 
N by W. — Cirroslrntus, and very hot; fine 

day; hot and windy; bright star-light. 
N — W — SW.-^Very fine hot morning; fine 

day; star-light. 
NE — SW — E. — Hazy, and sunny; fine hot 

day; star-light. 
SE — E.-— Foggy; deep azure sky, and cumuli 

at 11 A.M.; hot sunny day; 6^ P.M. 

orange sunset, and purple mottled cirro- 

sLratus; star-light. 
NW — NE— SW. — Foggy; fine hot day; star- 
light and wind. 
N — NW. — Hazy, and wind; fine day; dark 

E — N. — Gray morning; sun after 1P.M.; fine 

dav; star-light. 
N — E — E by S — SW. — Rather hazy; sun 

after 'd P.M.; fine day; bright star-light. 

New moon. 
S. — Hazv; a shower at 8 A.M.; sun; clouds 

and wind; fine day; star-light. 
NE — E. — Gray, and chrostraius; gray day, 

and slight showers ; dark night. 
NE—SE.— Rainy till near II A.M.; cirro- 

struius ; s,Xa\& and clouds. 
NE — SE. — Hazy, and very damp; tloudy day; 


At Tunbridge Wells, the Gtli of August, a large and very bril- 
liant meteor was seen ; a slowly descending body of fire, which 
appeared about half the size of the moon's disk, and was highly 







































30 00 



























[The time of ohservation, unl^T^erwise stated, is at 1 P.M.] 

State of the Weather and Modificati,.., 
of the Cloud,. 

Sept. 1 

Fair— blows hard from the S. 

Fair — heavy rain at night 

Showery— thunder 

Fair — heavy rain at night 

Ditto — rain at night 

Ditto ditto 









Cloudy— heavy rain towards morn. 

Ditto — heavy rain towards morn?. 


Very fine 








Ditto ' 

Very fine 


Very fine 

Cloudy — rata in the evening 

iii morm..;i (Sept. 15) it rains a^ai... T.'.c- Diiroineter i« ho.vever 


240 Meteorology, 

meteorological table, 

By Mr. Gary, of the Strand, 

For September 1817. 


Ileiizht of 

ilie Baroni. 



Days of 

^ ti 

P c 






>— ~ 

Aug. 27 


































Sept. 1 












































































































































































Fair ; 








^.B. 1 



r's height is I 

aken at on 

e o'clock. 

[ 241 ] 

XLI. On Colours. — hi Answer to Mr. T. Hargreaves's Slric- 
ttires on the IFork enlillcd " Chromatics ; or, An Essay on the 
Analogy and Harmony (f Colours." By The Author. 

To Mr, Tilloch. 

Sir, — In answer to the observations of Mr. T. Hargreaves on 
my Essay eutialeri " Chromatics," Sec. in yonr labt Number, I beg 
to state that the pigments chosen to illustrate the various deno- 
minations of colours therein, have been selected from the most 
eminent for durability and beauty, and that I am not acquainted 
with any blue, red, or yellow, superior in these respects to the 
three pigments, ultramarine, ruhiuieox madder red, and Indian 
yellow, used in exemplification of the primary colours. 

An eve critically nice will discern in every colour a tendency 
to some other colour, according as it is influenced by light, shade, 
depth or dilntoness ; nor is this the case only in the inherent 
colours of pigments, See. but it is so also in the transient colours 
of the prism, &c. Hence blue in its depth inclines to purple; 
deep-vellow to orange, &c. ; nor is it practicable to realize these 
colours to the satisfaction of the critical eye, — since perfect co- 
lours, like perfect geometrical figures, are pure ideals. My ex- 
amples of colours arc therefore quite as adequate to their office 
of illustrating and distinguishing, as the figure of an angle in- 
clining to the acute or obtuse, instead of a perfect right angle, 
or n)iddle form, would be in illustrating the conception of an 
angle in general. 

.Mr. H.'s objections to the examples of secondary and tertiary 
colours rest upon similar ground. Thus pur|)le, comf)osed of 
blue and red, (which in its perfect hue should neutrahze or ex- 
tinguish a perfect yellow,) denotes, in the exan^^ple referred to, 
7}ot any pnrlicular or indinidiial lint, bat a class of tints, hounded 
on the one extreme hij blue, and on the other by red: and thus 
also of the other colours. The secondaries, purple, green, and 
orange, have accordingly been exemplified by intermediate tints 
composed of two of the primaries alternately; and the tertiaries, 
russet, citrine, and olive, by like intermediates of these secon- 
daries ; for all these denominations of colours, as above instanced, 
are indications of classes or genera, and not significant of in- 
varialde hues or tints of colour. 

The remarks of Mr. 11. are however perfectly just with re- 
spect to K\ample X. of the Essay, in which the neutralizing co- 
lours are contrasted, and consecjucntlv require such individuality 
of the o])posed tints as may render them reciprocally neutra- 

The foregoing remarks upon the particular relations of colours 
Vol. 50. No. 231. OcM 8 17. Q apply 

242 On Colours, 

apply equally to their general relations or harmonies * : for the 
harmonies are as infinite as the hues of colours, and no more is 
designed in the Essay than to generalize or class the harmonies : 
— the examples given of them, therefore, like the former, are 
only indications of instances of classes. 

Mr. H. observes that the examjjlcs of the secondary colours 
are inferior in brilliancy to those of their primaries : but it is a 
principle in painting, to the value of which our great colourist, 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, has borne testimony, that the compminds 
of colours are inferior in briUiancy, &c. to their components ; 
because pigments, being imperfect in hue, have a neutralizing or 
lowering effect upon each other, and a chemical action by which 
they are in general mutually injurious. 

With respect to the denominations of the tertiary colours, I 
have already remarked that those I have adopted do not express 
individual hues or tints, but genera or classes ; and since the no- 
menclature of colours, in all languages, is confessedly imperfect f, 
and I do not contend for tints or terms, I shall gladly change 
them for more significant appellations, if such can be found; 
but that 1 am not in error as to the thing signified, is manifest 
from § 16, in which it is remarked "that blue predominates in, 
and gives its relations to, the olive, yellow to the citrine, and red 
to the russet." 

The use I have made of the double triangle in illustration of 
the relations of harmony in colours, in coincidence with Mr. H. 
is remarkable: yet, indeed, any trine figure migh thave supplied 
its place, though I have long preferred it for its simplicity, and 
as best suited to the philosophy upon which the Essay itself is 

To conclude. I am pleased to find that my system of colours, 
in respect to their particular relations, accords with the pre- 
conceptions of one so well acquainted with the subject as your 
correspondent appears to be; and since my doctrine of Harmony 
in Colours springs as a consequence from the same premises, and 
accords with the first principles of music, I anticipate, without 
desiring to bias his judgement, a like concurrence of ideas with 
that part of my Essay which treats of the general relations or 
harmony of colours. 

I am, sir, 

Yours very respectfully, 
September If, 1817. The AuTHOR. 

* See some excellent observationj relating to this subject by Mr. Tred- 
gold. Phil Miij;. vol. xlix. p. 262. 

t Sec Piiil. Mag. vol. xlix. p. 49, Ou the Ancient Names of Colours, by 
T. Forster, esq. 

XLII. Ee- 

[ 243] 

XLII. Report of the Select Committee appointed to con'iidcr of 
the Means of preventing the Mischief of Explosion from hap- 
pening on board Steam-Boats^ to the Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty's Subjects on board such Boats. 

[Continued from p. 182.] 

Mr. George Dodd's Evidence. 

Where is your residence? — I reside at No. 8, Oxford-street. 

What is your profession? — Civil engineer. 

Are vou a proprietor of any steam-boats? — I have five under 
my direction. 

Where are those steam-boats em|)loyed? — Two between Lon- 
don and Richmond, one between London and Gravesend, and 
two between London and Margate. 

How long* have they, or any of them, been in use ? — The 
Thames has been in use three years. 

Where does that go ? — From London to Margate : the Ma- 
jestic has been in use about twelve months, that goes to and from 
Margate : the Richmond, from London to Richmond, has been 
in use about fifteen months; and the other two are new vessels ; 
all these ves.sels lie up in the winter. The Tliames has not run 
from London to Margate during the whole three years ; she has 
run from London to Margate two years, and was twelve months 
in Scotland before I had her. I finished the Thames Margate 
steam yacht at Port Glasgow in Scotland, and navigated her 
from Scotland to Dublin, and encountered a considerable deal 
of bad weather, and found her most perfectly safe. No material 
accident happened to the engine, which worked during the whole 
voyage ; from Dublin I brought her round the Land's End, Corn- 
wall, into the port of London. 

Are all the steam-boats tliat you now have, or that you have 
had, used with condensing engines ? — They are. 

Has any accident happened during the course of their being 
used ? — The boilers of two have been injured by the imprudence 
of the engine workers; but no accident of any description could 
or has occurred to the passengers. 

What was tlie nature of the accidents that happened to thos^ 
boilers ? — The accident was the partial coming down of the 
boilers over the furnace mouth, being pressed down by the power 
of the steam, in consequence of the engine workers not suffi- 
ciently feeding the boilers, and covering the flues withvwater. 

What are all your boilers made of? — They are made of sheet 
wrought iron, riveted together. 

Are they cylindrical ? — They are not; they are flat-sided with 
flat roofs, and the others have dome roofs; there are at least 1500 

Q 2 rivets 

244 Report of the Select Committee 

rivets in the larger ones ; and I consider every rivet to be in 3 
degree a safety-valve, as in all instances of bursting or tearing of 
this de^cri(>tioM of boilers the rivets first give way, and always 
give sufficient warning. 

How many safetj -valves have von to yonr boilers ?-One to each. 

Is that safety-valve accessible to the engineer directing the en- 
gine ? — It is ill all of them excepting the Richmond, and there it 
is under lock and kev; the safety-valve on board of the Rich- 
mond is not a lever safetv-valve, but they are simple weights 
resting on the safety-valve, the whole of which is inclosed within 
a box and locked up, so that no discretionary power is left to 
the man who works the engine; I carry the key of it in general 

Do not you think in future it would be advisable, in order for 
the greater safetv of passengers, that boilers should be provided 
with two safety-valves, one not accessible to the engineer direct- 
ing the engine, and another accessil)ie to him? — I think that to all 
boilers there should be two safetv valves ; the one whicli would be 
accessible to the engine-worker, should be loaded with the mini- 
mum of tlie pressure that the chief engineer saw fit that the boiler 
should sustain ; and that the one which would be inaccessible and 
locked up, should be loaded ecpml to the ultimatum that he would, 
under any circumstances, permit tlie boiler to support. 

In a high pressure engine, wliat is your opinion of the weight 
that ought to be placed upon the safety-valve of its boiler ? — 
That in a great measure is conjectural ; but for my own practice, 
I certainlv should not allow the safetv-valves to be loaded with 
more than half the weight which I had previously tried and found 
the boiler was capable of supporting ; all my engines are low 
pressure engines, and the weight upon the safety-valves is re- 
gulated not to exceed six pounds upon the inch. 

What is the reason that vou have adopted, in your steam- 
boats, the construction of boilers with flat sides and ends ? — 
Because that figure gives the greatest cubical content in the 
smallest space, and compactness of the machinery and the boiler 
is a desirable object in a steam-boat. 

Is it vour opinion, that such boilers properly constructed, and 
of sufficient thickness in the plates of wrought iron, may be safely 
used on board steam-boats having the low pressure engines? — 
Most decidedly so ; I consider each of my boilers capable of 
sustaining a pres iure of fifteen pounds upon the inch, but I never 
work them to niore than six pound! upon the inch. 

Are those boilers so constructed, that the water entirely covers 
the tube in which the fire is made ? — la the Richmond, the fire 
is entirely surrounded by the water; it is the case also in the 
Majestic j but in the Thames and in the new boat to Richmond, 


072 Steam-Boats. 245 

and the new boat to Gravesend, they are what we call open fur- 
nace mouths : under the furnace mouth I place an ash-hole of 
cast iron, bedded in clay and upon fire-bricks. 

Does the water in the boilers of tliis latter construction come 
to the upper surface of every portion of that iron, the under sur- 
face of which is exposed to the fire ? — It does. 

If you are acquainted with any accidents which have happened 
to steam-engines, not under vour own direction, be pleased to 
mention what thev were and how tbey happened ' — I recollect 
the boiler of the Caledonia London and Margate steam-packet 
bursting at sea, by the forcing out of three of the rivets over the 
furnace mouth, which extinguished the fire, but it was not pro- 
ductive of anv injurious consequences to any of the persons on 
board ; and the Cork and Cove packet-boat in Ireland, with 
250 officers and soldiers on board, burst her boiler when lying 
alongside of the transport that was receiving the troops ; the 
bursting made a fissure or opening of nine inches bv eighteen 
inches; but the steam which escaped did no injury either to the 
persons on board or to the vessel, nor do 1 think under any cir- 
cumstances of the bursting, if a wrougiit-iron boiler at the low 
pressure, that is, the steam not being more than ten or fifteen 
pounds to the inch, that the steam which might be suddenly let 
loose or disengaged, would have power sufficient to raise the deck 
of the vessel, or. to injure the parties on board. 

Supposing an engine upon the high pressure principle to have 
its boiler made of wrought iron, with the furnace passing through 
water throughout its u-hole Iciigtli, and the boiler to be provided 
with saf'etv-valves properlv adjusted, so as to prevent the steam 
being raised to more than half of that pressure which the boiler 
is calcidated to sustain, should you then havi any apprehension 
of ill effects arising from the use of such an engine ? — Certainly, 
I should still consider them hazardous and liable to very fatal 
consequences ; for all boilers deteriorate by work, by time, and 
by oxidation, and what might be proof at this period, at a future 
period the l)oiIer might be incapai)le of sustaining. Besides, all 
Ijoilers are lial)k' to casualties, and in case of any accident which 
might suddenly let loose or disengage the steam of a high pres- 
sure l>oi!er, tlie steam itself would have sufficient expansive force 
and impetus to destroy .my vessel. I have known instances, as 
I have stated before, of low pressure engines biusting, where 
they have done no injury; btit I cannot couceive it possible that 
steam of ton or twenty times greater force could be let loose into 
the engine-room without creating mischief. 

What is tlie average price of steam-boats calcidated to convey 
passengers? — The Kichniond steam yacht cost, in the fn^r in- 
stance, including the engine, ISOO/. the engine itself cost about 

Q3 lOOO/.i 

246 Report of Ike Select Committee 

1000/.; the Majestic cost about 2000/. and the engine about 
2000/. more ; the Thames cost 2500/. inchiding the engine, at 
about 1200/.; the new vessel that I built to go to Richmond, 
the hull and joiners' work cost 750/. and an engine of fourteen- 
horse power and apparatus cost 1170/.; the new Gravesend 
steam-\acht, the hull only has cost 750/. and the engine, 1370/.; 
but there will be various other expenses before these vessels are 

Can you tell what is the expense of the boiler alone ? — I have 
just got a new boiler from Messrs. Jessops of Butterley, for the 
Thames steam-yacht, and I pay for the boiler 215/. 

What additional expense do you apprehend is incurred in a 
boiler of these dimensions Ijv having it of wrought iron, beyond 
what it would cost if made of cast metal ? — Never having had 
any cast-iron boilers, I do not feel myself competent to give a 
satisfactory answer. 

What additional expense would be incurred by the additioa 
of an additional safety-valve ? — That would depend upon the 
dimensions of the safety-valve, but in general the additional ex- 
pense would be under 4 1. 

You mean that each safety-valve costs about that sum ? — The 
most costly of them cost about that sum. 

Did you ever apply a mercurial tube as a safety-valve ? — Ne- 
ver : I have to each of the boilers a mercurial barometer, that 
operates as an indicator of the height and pressure of the steam. 

Whereabouts is the expense of that barometer ? — 1 do not re- 
collect, but certainly not more than 21. 

Did you see the Norwich steam-packet which exploded ? — I 
have been on board her, and performed a voyage with her ; I 
went down with a view of purchasing it ; 1 went down for that 
purpose twice. 

What was your reason for not purchasing it ? — Because it 
was a high pressure engine, and liable to the accident which has 
since occurred. 

Was that your sole reason ? — Yes ; I went a second time with 
a party of German gentlemen from Bremen, who were anxious 
to make an immediate purchase of a steam-vessel ; and they also 
declined to purchase that or any of the boats upon the river Yare, 
solely because they had high pressure steam-engines on board. 

Did you exami le the boiler which exploded when you were on 
board the vessel at Norwich ? — I did. 

What opinion did you form respecting that boiler ? — 1 thought 
that it was i^ljudiciously composed, as I found that the barrel or 
cylinder of the boiler was of wrought iron riveted together ; of 
that part I approved, but I found that one of the ends was a 
flat plate of cast iron, and as these two metals under the same 


on Steam-Boats. 247 

degree of heat have different deforces of expansion, I thought it 
by no means a perfect and secure boiler. 

Had you any opportunity of observing the boiler, so as to form 
a judgetnent whether the cast-iron end was of sufficient strength 
to resist the pressure of the steam? — I had no such opportunity. 

Had you any opportunity of observing when you were aboard, 
whether the steam was properly regulated ? — Yes ; I found that 
the safety-valve was pressed down by a lever, and when I first 
went on board, the steam was so high as to require tlie weight 
near the extreme end of the lever. My opinion respecting the 
insecurity of high pressure engines is not formed in consequence 
of the late accident; for on the 3d of March last, having occasion 
to write to a Mr. Rawlinson, who had applied to me to con- 
struct a steam-packet for his friends, I conchided my letter with 
these words ; " Is it intended to have a low or a high pressure 
engine ? if the latter, I should decline having any concern in the 
business, as they are attended with danger in any situation, but 
especially so in a steam-packet, where the lives of all on board 
would be at the mercy of the sobriety and attention of the en- 
gine worker." 

You mean of course to say, that they would be so if no pre- 
cautions other than those which have hitherto been in use were 
adopted to prevent it? — Certainly; 1 allude to high pressure 
engines, as they have been hitherto usually arranged. 

[Mr. George Dodd was again called in on a future day, and 

Can you inform the Committee, or give them any general 
idea, what ainonnt of capital is vested in steam-boats? — I have 
been om board and am well acquainted with twenty; and know 
that there are more than forty in Great Britain ; many have cost 
jOUO/. others GOUO/. and one on the Thames above 10,000/.; 
I consider a fair average to be 3500/. each, making the vested 
capital 140,000/. Most of them are fitted up with peculiar ele- 
gance and accommodation, and the furniture and decorations 
aloue forui an expensive item; they are also very expensive to 
maintain, evpecially on the Thames, by reason of the great cost 
of coal. They are most numerous on the Clyde, where they 
have been productive of essential benefit to the general commerce 
and iraHic of Glasgow, Port Glasgow, Greenock, and the ncigh- 
bouiing country. 

What description of engines and boilers have the steam- boats, 
you personally know, or with which you are personally ac- 
quainted ? — .All I know have low |)ressure condensing engines, 
and wrought sheet-iron riveted boilers, except the remaining 
steam-boats between Yarmouth and Norwich, and one in Hol- 
land, built at Yarmouth j and they are high pressure engines. 

Q 4 [Mr. 

248 Report of the Select Committee 

[Mr. George Dodd was again called in and examined.] 

For what purpose do you attend ? — To produce a new safety- 

What are the advantages attendant on the safety-valve which 
you have to offer to the Committee ? — I propose to the Com- 
mittee the valve I now offer as a second valve, as it admits of 
being locked up so as to be inaccessible to the engine-worker ; 
it prevents the possibility of his obstructing its action, either by 
going into the boiler when the boiler is cool, or under any cir- 
cumstances whatever. — [The witness produced it.'\ 

Is there any provision against tlie valve adliering in any part, 
so as to prevent its operation ? — There is ; the safety-valve has 
not a conical bottom as is usual in most safetv-valvcs, but has a 
flat bottom resting upon a f^at circular ring ; the steam escapes 
from tlie sides of the box through apertures so constructed as 
that nothing can be introduced to impede its action. 

Mr. Richard Wuigitt's Evidence. 

Where do vou live? — At No. 62, Blackfriars Road. 

You are an engineer? — Yes. 

Do you know the cause of the explosion of the Norwich steam- 
boat? — 1 do not know it l)evoiid this; that I know that the 
pressure nm^t have been more than seventv-five pounds, liaviiig 
seen it worked at that pressure. Mv supposition is, tiiat the 
man must have had it a vast deal beyond that, for tlierc was no 
appearance of the l)oiler giving wav at that time, and it was only 
a short time previous to the explosion itself. 

Has anybody informed von, that to their knovvledge the safety- 
valve of rhe engine was on that day, or on any other day, im- 
properly loaded? — No; but thev were frequently in the habit 
of putting an additional weiifht on the valve ; this man in parti- 
cular, in both the boats which he had occasionally worked. 

Do you know any thing respecting the construction of the 
boiler ? — The boiler v/as eight feet long ; a cylindrical boiler four 
feet two inches diameter; it was first made with an internal an- 
gle iron atone end, and an external angle iron at the other end. 
In consequence of the internal angle iron having given way, a 
cast-iron end was substituted, which certainly was not done in a 
manner which I should have recommended ; it might have been 
made safe certainly ; anv boiler might be made safe. 

Do von attribute, in any manner, the explosion of that boiler 
to that particular alteration? — Not at all ; tlie end, as altered, 
appears to me to have stood more than the end previous to the 

What pressure was the boiler originally calculj^tcd to sustain ? 
— Forty pounds to the inch. 


071 Steam-Boats. 249 

Which would you, as an engineer, recommend to be used on 
hoard steam-boats, wrought-iron or cast-iron boilers? — I think 
both might be used with equal safety; but that in proving them, 
they ought kept under the pressure a considerable time, 
say a quarter of an hour or half an hour; sudden pressure may 
cause flaws in a boiler, which mav give rise to accident after- 
wards ; but if imder pressure a considerable time, you might see 
the action of it. 

Mr. John Richter's Evidence. 

Where is your residence ? — In Cornwall Place. 

What are you ? — A sugar refiner. 

Were you acquainted with the circumstances attending the 
explosion of the engine at the sugar-house in Wellclose-square? 
— I was. 

Be so good as to state them ? — I had attended from time to 
time during the whole period of the construction of that boiler, 
for the purpose of boiling sugar by means of high pressure ; it 
was necessary we sliould have a pressure of from six-and-thirty 
to five-and-forty pounds to an inch. I saw' the boiler when the 
bottom only was put up, -uid I was at tiiat time informed that 
they had cast the dome part of it, and that it was not sufficient, 
and that they were casting another. Some months afterwards 
I attended, and I found that other placed there. I saw them 
at work, and as I went in, Mr. Haigh, who was the engineer, 
told me they were boiling at eighteen pounds an inch ; to which 
I replied, that must be inijjossible ; we have never been able to 
boil at less than six-and-thirty. Upon which I went to the 
gauge, and I found the index of the gauge standing at five- or 

What was the nature of that gauge ? — A mercurial gauge, in- 
tended as an index. I said, " Surely you are mistaken, this is 
six-and-thirty." "Oh! no," he said, " that means eighteen." 
In conse(juence of which, I took an opportunity of measuring the 
gauge, and found the gauge to represent inche:i, by which I 
knew they were in an error. I measured to convince them of 
the error, but failed, and could not convince them of it till the 
day after the accident. In consequence of complaints from 
Constant, the Frenchman, in whose house it was, that it would 
not do its work, and his fears in pressing it on to do its work, 
the maker of it became anxious to show that it would, and a day 
was appointed for this to be done. Constant, at three o'clock 
in the morning, began his work, and continued boiling till aljout 
fight, but boiling with a great deal of difliculty, because he was 
afraifj of putting the engine to the pressure he required. He 


250 Report of the Select Committee 

e;ave it up ; he said he would boil no more, and the men in at- 
tendance, who belonged to the engineer, went to fetch the en- 
gineer, lie and his men came down, and persuaded Constant 
to. have the fire lit again. He consented, after a great deal of 
difficulty, and wciit to another pan in an adjoining building, and 
there he was at work when the accident happened. They were 
urging the steam, and actually had put an immense weight upon 
the lever of the valve, so as to render it totally useless. This 
was ascertained by a Frenchman, who saw it, and who stated to 
the man that he was doing mij-ehief and doing wrong. He was 
told to hold his tongue and mind his own business ; that he 
knew his business, and they knew theirs ; the consequence was, 
that immediately afterwards it blew up. After this accident, I 
went every day to the ruins, for the purpose of satisfying myself 
of what had been the cause of the bursting ; and I saw the ex- 
cavation until the parts of the boiler, which was of cast iron, 
were found; and then finding parts of this boiler in different 
places, the seat of the boiler being where it had been placed, but 
the rest scattered about in different directions, 1 measured the 
thickness of different parts of it. The bottom of it was two 
inches and a half thick, the upright sides of the bottom one inch 
and a half thick ; the lower part of the dome was seven-six- 
teenths thick, and one of the parts at which it must have burst, 
and where the boiler was completelv defective in the casting, 
was less than the eighth of an inch thick ; it was not thicker 
than a crown-piece: the wonder is that it stood at all, noc that 
it burst. I am sure I never would have gone near it, if they had 
not assured me it was three inches thick in every pari of it, and 
I was over it repeatedly. I ajjprehend the cause of that bad 
work was this; that the man was his own founder, as well as an 
engineer, and having made the thing in his own house, it was 
his interest to patch it up in the best way he could, and I under- 
stand it was actually pat^'hed. 

Were you enabled to form any judgement to what pressure 
the men had raised their steam ? — 1 could not form any judge- 
ment of that, but I understand that it had been seen at forty- 

What pressure was the boiler originally intended to sustain ? 
Itwasnot intended to be worked above forty-five, and was ordered 
to be made to sust lin the pres'^ure of a hundred pounds to an 
inch ; the whole house was blown to pieces, which, 1 apprehend, 
arose from the fragments of the boiler striking the story posts, 
by which the support being taken away, the walls fell inwards. 

" Do you know whether there was a second safety-valve to this 
boiler ? — 1 do not think there was. 


on Steam-Boais. 251 

Mr. John Steel's Evidence. 

Where do you reside ? — At Dartford. ^ 

What is your profession ? — An engineer. 

Are you acquainted with the construction of steam boilers ? — 
Perfectly so. 

Will vou give your opinion as to the comparative merits of 
wrrought and cast iron ? — I cannot conceive as to the safety of 
the two, that there is any difference whatever, when the steam 
is used, as it generally is for high pressure engines, to forty 
pounds to the inch. If it was required to make the strongest 
boiler imaginable, I should consider cast iron preferable, because 
there you can get to an unlimited strength of resistance; wrought 
iron you can only have of a certain thickness. 

Are vou of opinion, that a boiler can be made of cast metal, 
free from all imperfections in the substance of the metal itself? 
— No ; I do not imagine that it can exactly, but at the same 
time it can be ascertained whether it is so or not before it is 

Do vou mean to sav by that, that vou can by any pressure say 
that it is free from imperfections; or do you mean to state, that 
it will only sustain the pressure that it is calculated for? — When 
boilers are proved, they are generally proved to four or five or 
six or eight times the pressure intended to be put on them. 

But still, though they bear that pressure, they might have 
those imperfections ? — Certainly; but without those imperfec- 
tions, they would sustain, perhaps, fifty times what is wanted. 

Are you then of opinion, that the proof arising from the pres- 
sure of cold water, is sufficient to ascertain the safety of a boiler 
which shall fifterwards be expo^-cd to the operation of fire or of 
highly heated steam? — Perfectly so; because I imagine it is a 
great deal stronger when heated to the extent steam will heat it; 
cast or wrought iron is at its greatest strength when it is at 300 
degrees of heat, which I believe has never been arrived at yet by 
steam . 

Supposing the interior of the cast iron to contain cavities, bv 
which the thickness of the extenal coat is verv much diminisjied 
in those parts, and that those parts shall be afterwards exposed 
to the action of the fire, do vou apprehend then, that tlie ap- 
parent thickness of the boiler would be anv sufficient security? — 
No ; by no means. 

Have the boilers which you have been accu'^tomed to use been 
furnished with two safety-valves or one onlv? — Two, universally. 

Has either of those been locked up from the engineer ? — They 
sometimes have and sometimes they have not ; I should imagine 


232 licfjorl cj' ike Select Commlllec 

two-thirds of them have been locked up, but I cannot exactly 
.sav; one is ahvays exposed. 

Do you think anv great security is produced by the operation 
of a mercurial gauge, as a safety-valve? — Certainly so. 

Are you of opinion, that by the adoption of those precautions, 
high pressure steam may be used with safety, either with wrought- 
iron or cast-iron boilers ? — Perfectly so. 

In case by accident of the explosion of a boiler — which would 
be attended with the greatest mischief, a cast- cr wroiight-iron 
boiler ? — I should imagine the explosion would be one and the 

Would not the cast-iron boiler he more liable to burst in frag- 
ments, than the wrought iron ? — I have never seen it ; I have 
seen several cast-iron boilers rend, but never explode. 

Would not wrought-iron boilers rend? — Wrought-iron boilers 
rend also. It appears to me it is not from the pressure, but from 
the heat where the water is kept from the place where the rend 
takes place ; I never saw a cast-iron boiler that had exploded. 

Supposing two vessels, one of cast iron and one of wrought 
iron, of equal dimensions, which have no escape-valves at all, to 
be burst by the expansive force of steam ; from which of those 
two should you expect the greatest mischief to arise ? — From the 
cast iron. 

ilfr. William Bkunton's Evidence. 

What are you, and where do you reside? — I am a civil en- 
gu'.eer, resident at Birmingham. 

You are a manufactiu'er of steam engines ? — Yes. 

Have you ever manufactured any steam engines for boats ? — 

Have you any thing to communicate to the Committee, for 
their information, respecting the best construction of the engine 
or boiler, to produce safety to passengers on board? — Yes; I 
have, during the course of my experience, made several high 
pressure boilers, and in turning my attention to that, I was in- 
duced to examine what had been done b'efore me ; and I think 
we have accomplished the object, in makir.g a boiler, which I 
apprehend will become useless before it becomes dangerous. 

Are vou acquainted with anv instances of the explosion of 
steam boilers? — Ye;^, of both kinds ; I know of one which ex- 
ploded at Ilunslet, near Leeds, whilst I was within half a mile 
of it ; It was a low pressure boiler ; the cause was the weakness 
of the boiler, and the effect was, that all the windows of the 
neighbouring manufactory, which were of lead, were torn out, 
and there were a great number of the work-people scalded. 


07? Steam-Boats. 233 

Was the explosion of that boiler owing to the weakness of the 
metal, or improper construction ? — It was, perhaps, from the 
weakness of the metal ; I cannot answer that question exactly. 
It was a cast-iron top ; it was the upper part of the wrought 
iron, joining to the cast iron, that gave way. Another instance 
was at Shersiti-hill collierv, where the boiler was projected over 
the engine-house ; there was no other damage done, excepting 
breaking a capstan. 

What sort of boiler was that? — It was a round wrought-iron 
boiler. Anotlier instance was at the foundry near Stourbridge, 
where the boiler bursted, and one man was killed. 

In all the accidents vou know of, did tlicy arise fiom the im- 
proper construction of the boiler, or from the ignorance or mis- 
management of the engine-man ? — I have no doubt that either 
the one or the other caused all the accidents that ever hap- 

Are not common or low pressure engines often used at a 
liigher degree of pressure than was designed by the person who 
constructed the boiler ? — Yes, and particularly in steam-boats. 
I have had more than once occasion to correct that, or to re- 
monstrate with the engine-man. I should say, that tliis danger 
is considerablv increased, from a number of the boilers on board 
the steam packets having large Hat sides. 

Do not the engine-men, in manv cases, increase the pressure 
of the steam in the boiler, although it be of no additional ad- 
vantage whatever in increasing the power of the engine ? — Yes, 
I think I may say so, if applied to the low pressure engine or 
condensing engine. The additional force of the stcarn subjects 
the engine to a number of inconveniences. 

Have you been concerned in making boilers for high pressure 
engines ? — Yes. 

Do you think that boilers for high pressure engines can be so 
constructed as to become useless before thoy are dangerous?— Yes. 

Upon what principle? — Upon the ])rincij>!e of having the 
exterior part of the boiler independent of the flue, so much so, 
that while the flue is injured liy the current action of the fire, 
the exterior part of the boiler remains, as to strength, nnimjjaired ; 
and I conceive that a boiler thus formed, when the flue has been 
worn very thin, and then exposed to a greater pressure than it 
could sustain, the thin parts of the flue would act as so many 
safety-valves. From my experience in regard to these boilers, I 
know that when they have been worn for some time, you cannot 
have them tight. 

You are speaking here of boilers constructed of wrought iron ? 
— Yes ; I speak of them because I have so constructed them ; 
but I have no doubt that cast-iron boilers, if cou':trucled upon 


254 Report of the Select Commitlee 

the same plan, may be made equally strong, having the outside 
of cast iron and tlie inner part of wrought iron, wonld do the 
same thiiij<. 

Do von, from your own experience, believe it possible to con- 
strnct hollers which will bear an expansive force of 600 pounds 
to an iiici) ? — Yes; according to my experience, I have taken a 
good (leal of pains to ascertain the strength of wrought-iron 
plate, and according to that I have made wronght-iron boilers 
that would Ijear 600 pounds upon an inch. 

What degree of pressure have such boilers generally been 
worked with ? — Such boilers have been worked from forty to fifty 
pounds upon an inch, and previously to being worked at all they 
have been tried with loO pounds to an inch, by water pressure. 

Are vou then of opinion that there is no difficulty in con- 
structing the high pressure boiler of wrought iron, in such a 
manner as to make it perfectly safe ? — Yes, 1 am of that opinion, 
that the boiler maybe constructed of wrought iron, vvith perfect 
safety, at a pressure of fifty pounds. 

After the boiler is properly constructed, do you apply any 
'further safeguards to it ?— We adopt two safety-valves, one in 
an iron box under lock and key, and that is only at the control 
of the proprietor, and the other is open to the engine-man; and 
we also employ a mercurial gauge as an inverted siphon, which 
in the event of the steam being stronger than the mercury can 
sustain, the mercury will be driven out, and the boiler thereby 
relieve itself. 

Do you consider this mercurial gauge in any other light than 
as an additional safety-valve, or as a contrivance by which no- 
lice is given of the pressure growing too high ? — In both these 
respects I employ it ; I consider that in both those two points 
of view it is useful. 

Are vou of opinion, that if the common safety-valves be pro- 
perly adapted, the mercurial gauge may be dispensed with ; when 
1 say properly adapted, I mean sufficient in number and capacity, 
and one of them conijiletely secured from the intermeddling of 
the engine-man? — 1 should think it would be safe. 

What do vou think respecting the comparative mischief pro- 
bably to arise from the bursting of a high pressure or a low pres- 
sure boiler? — In the high pressure boiler the injury would be 
done principally by the fragments projected; in the low pressure 
boiler, the mischic may arise chiefly from the hot water and 
steam. I may mention two instances in illustration of this; the 
first, of a low pressure boiler having given way in the bottom, 
when a stream of hot water was projected against the engine- 
man, causing his death ; the second instance was of a high pres- 
sure boiler, in which a hole wa§ suddenly opened, the water pro- 

on Steam-Boat^. 255 

jected itself and completely wetted a boy standing within a yard 
of the orifice, who was not at all injured thereby. I should say, 
the fragments from the cast-iron boiler would be, for any thing 
that I know, equally destructive either with a high or with a 
low pressure. 

What injury do you think is likely to arise from the burs^g 
of a high pressure boiler composed of wrought iron ?— I con- 
ceive the injury would be more partial, in consequence of the 
fragments being larger ; for I do not suppose that ihe wrought- 
iron boiler would be divided into so many parts as a cast-iron 
boiler would. 

Do you apprehend, that a vvrought-iron boiler would burst in 
the same manner with a cast-iron boiler; I mean, whether the 
manner of bursting would be the same? — Yes, I think it would. 

Supposing that cast-iron boiler to be burst by the expansive 
force of the steam, does it usually rend, or go into fragments ? — 
Cast iron will go into fragments. 

What would be the effect of the same force which would pro- 
duce explosion upon a wrought-iron boiler? — The probability 
is, that there would be much fewer fragments in the wrought- " 
iron boiler; — perhaps only two. 

Does not the greater tenacity of the wrought iron prevent the 
fragments from being carried off in the same manner as when 
the cast-iron boiler bursts ? — No ; I presume, that if the wronght- 
iron boiler bursts, whatever fragments there are, they are com- 
pletely detached from that boiler, and they will go as far and do 
as much mischief as those of a cast-iron one. 

Are the fragments separated from the wrought-iron boiler by 
explosion, in the same maimer as they are from a ciist-iron boiler? 
— Yes ; they would be projected with ecjual force, under equal 
circumstances. When i say that the wrought iron will rend, I 
am also of opinion, that a part of it may be projected : I have an 
immediate eve to the circumstance of one part of it being sepa- 
rated, and that the one part would be carried with as much vio- 
lence in the cast iron as in tlie wrought iron. 

Is there not a greater juobaliility in the wrought-iron boiler 
rending, and not separating into fragments ? — I know that one 
vvrought-iron boiler burst with a high pressure steam ; and a 
fragment, the largest piece, was carried to the distance of 150 

Was that a piece of the wrought iron ? — Yes. 

Have you any thing to add to that part of your answer? — No. 

You have said that the boilers which yon manufacture, are 
generally made of wrought iron ; what is your reason for pre- 
ferring the wrought to the cast iron ? — I was induced from the 
examination of several cast-iron boilers, which I found cracked 


256 A short Account of Horizontal IVater-W heels. 

or broken in the lower part of them, which in my opinion arose 
from the uneqiuil temperature and expansion in the exterior part 
of the boiler ; this iineqnal temperature is caused by a quantity 
of water at all times under the flue, and conse(iuently of lower 
temperature than the water above the flue ; tliercby causing the 
upper part of the bailer to expand in a greater ratio than the 
under parts of the boiler, which in my opinion caused the frac- 
ture- alluded to. This circumstance induced me to make use of 
wrought-iron boilers, as I have explained or described, in pre- 
ference to the other. 

In a steam boat, what boiler would you most recommend to 
be used to insure safety to the persons on board ; a wrought- 
iron or a cast-iron boiler ? — A wrought-iron boiler, properly con- 

What safety-valves would you recommend to be placed to 
boilers on board steam-boats, to insure the greatest safety, or to 
guard against the boiler's exploding; I mean as to numijer ? — I 
recommend at least two safety-valves ; the one to be placed un- 
der the lock and key of the proprietor of the vessel, so secured 
as not to be accessible to the engine-man ; and one which the 
engine-man has the usual control of. 

Have you any thing to recommend with regard to the parti- 
cular construction of these safety-valves, so as to insure their 
acting and constant operation ? — I would recommend the valve 
to be nearly flat or quite so, which I apprehend would be less 
liable to be fastened by the difference of temperature to which 
the valve and the seat migiit occasionally be subjected. 

I suppose such a safetv-valve would not be liable to be im- 
peded by much friction? — As little friction as perhaps can be. 

You have not any thing particularly to suggest r — No. 
[ I'o be continued.] 

XLIII. A short Account of Horizontal IVater-Wheels. By 
W. Adamson*, Esq. 

vJn perusing the works of mechanical writers, it appears, that 
many attempts have been made to construct horizontal water- 
wheels, on such a principle as would give them sufficient power 
for mechanical purposes ; but that these attempts have often 

The principal kinds, of which wc have any account, are : 
1. Such as have their vanes or floats placed round the rim, 
like those of a wind-mill, and which are made much broader 
than the vein of water which is to strike them; the water is de- 

* Conununicatcd by tlic Author. 
' . livered 



•:W' T«.-n-lt .<.-.,/,• 


or bri 


of tl» 

of u f 







be uj 
iron ' 

der t 
as n( 

to bi 
the • 




for I 

* Conununicatcd by the Autlior. 


A short Jccoiint of Horizontal Water -Wheels. 257 

livered from a spout, which is so directed as that they may be 
struck in a direction perj^endicuhir to their surface. 

2. Those Avhich have their floats ranged round the rim of the 
wheel in jjlanes inclined to the radius, but parallel to the axis. 

3. Those which have the floats standing on a soal, or on the 
side of the rim, not pointing to the axis, but aside from it, so 
that they will admit of the spout being more conveniently placed. 

4. The centrifugal wheel, commonly called Barker's mill. 
This consists of an upright pipe or trunk, connnunicating with 

two horizontal arms, each having a hole near the end opening 
in opposite directions, and at right angles to the arras. The 
water is poured from a spout into the top of the trunk, and 
issues through the holes in the arms, with a velocity correspond- 
ing to their depth below the surface of the water, by which the 
arms are forced backwards, and a retrograde motion is given to 
the wheel. 

5. In the year 1797, a patent was taken out by Mr. Robert 
Beatson, for a method of constructing horizontal mills to go 
either by wind or water. The machine consists of four rect- 
angular frames or wings, standing at right angles to each other 
on an upright shaft. The floats, which consist of some thin light 
substance, are fixed in the frames perpendicular to the horizon, 
and are so constructed, that when they face the wind or the current 
of water, they are shut, and fill up the whole space within the 
frame; but on the opposite side, when they return against the 
current, they are open, and permit the wind or water to pass 
between them. 

This machine, as a water-mil!, was intended to act in the cur- 
rent of a river, or by the ebbing and flowing of the tide. 

These seem to be the principal kinds of horizontal wheels; 
and from the nature of the principles upon which they act, it is 
evident their powers must be very small. 

It however ajjpears that many are in use on the continent of 

An Explanation of the New Patent Horizontal Water-Wheel, 
and the Principles of its Action. 

A circular wall, in the form of a hollow cylinder, is built in a 
perpendicular position on a horizontal plane. 

Through the side of the cylinder, at the bottom, several rect- 
angular cuts or passages are made, the sides of which are per- 
pendicular to the base, or bottom of the cylinder, and the length 
of each within, is about four times the width. Fig. 1, Plate IV. 

The passages or cuts are made (|uite round the circund'erence, 
and so near to each other, that the sections of their sides within, 
make an acute angle, and leave, between each two, a solid part 

Vol. 50. No. 231. Oct. 1817. R iii 

258 A short Account of Korizontal Pt'^ater- Wheels, 

in the form of a wedge, the edge of which is perpendicular to the 
base, so tiiat a line drawn from the centre of the wheel to it, will 
form a right angle with that side of the cut which faces the cen- 
tre. Fig. 1. 

Within the cylinder is placed the horizontal wheel, with floats, 
and a perpendicular axis or spindle, which turns on a point in 
the centre. Figs. 1 and 2. 

The floats FF are rectangular planes, fixed round the edge of 
the wheel in planes passing through the centre, and perpendicular 
to the plane of the wheel. Their height is something greater 
than that of a cut, and their breadth rather more than its width: 
also their number mav be about three times the number of cuts. 
But for the purpose of obtaining the most regular motion, the 
numbers of the cuts and floats ought to be prime to each other. 
Fig. 2. 

The cylinder is surrounded by a reservoir of water, supported 
bv a circular wall, which, in low falls, may be equal to its depth. 

The reservoir is filled, from the canal or river, by a stream 
flowing through a head or slit at the top of the outer wall, and 
at the bottom, the water flows through the cuts PP against the 
floats, and turns the wheel. Figs. 1 and 2. 

The width of the cvlinder within, RR, is continued downwards 
below the floats FF, to a depth sufficient for permitting passages 
to be made under the reservoir, of sufficient capacity to take away 
the water as fast as it enters the inner cylinder. Fig. 2. 

The passages at the bottom of the n>achine, showing the 
escape of the water, appear in the plate, for the want of room, 
to occupy only half the circumference, but ought to be continued 
quite round. Fig. 2. 

In fig. 2, where part of a perpendicular section of the machine 
is represented, the passage of the water appears to be only on 
one side, but the opposite side is supposed to pass through one 
of the solids which supports the reservoir and wall. 

The vvheel, to about half the radius, is open quite round the 
centre, for the purpose of permitting the free passage of the air; 
(this, in a large wheel, may be much more than half;) the re- 
mainder is solid, quite round, and curved or dished on the under 
side, for the purpose of turning the water downwards, and pre- 
venting it from rising above the vvheel, as it passes from the 
float, in a thin sheet to the centre, where it forms a head, which 
by its pressure facilitates its escape. Fig. 2. 

According to the manner in which the floats are fixed in the 
wheel, they ought, in the figure, to be invisible; but are made to 
appear, for the purpose of showing the nature of the action of 
the water against them. Fig. 1 . 


A short Accou7U of Horizontal Water-Wheels. 259 

To find what depth the bottom passages ought to be, it will 
be only necessary to know the breadth and depth of' the head 
through which the water flows into the reservoir, as the same 
quantity must pass both places in the same time. 

The perfection of this machine may be shown as follows : 

1. The floats being open on all sides, except that opposite 
the centre, will prevent as much as possible, any reaction against 
the water coming in. 

2. The space below the floats, and the passages from it, being 
always sufficient to take away the water as fast as it enters, will 
prevent any accumulation of tail water from impeding the floats. 

3. The velocity of the water being greater than that of the 
wheel, prevents any impediment by centrifugal force. 

4. The force of the water through the cuts, arises from its 
perpendicular pressure from the surface to the centre of force, 
and therefore is the greatest possible. 

5. The line of pressure against the floats, is as nearly perpen- 
dicular to their surface, and as near to the extremity of the ra- 
dius, as it is possible to make it act against the floats of a wheel, 
and therefore the pressure against them cannot be greater. 

6. The water acts against all the floats at the same time. 

7. Tlie whole of the water acts against the floats. 

8. The water receives no check from the want of air. 

9. No water-wheel can move with less friction. 

Hence it must he evident, that these principles will 2;ive the 
greatest power that can possiI)ly be obtained from the a'ction of 
water upon a horizontal wheel : 

But as a wheel acting on these principles has never before 
been tried, it was thought most advisa];le to put it to the test by 
experiment, pievious to making it public. A very complete and 
perfect model (or rather a little mill) has therefore been made 
by Messrs. Bramah and Sons, at their manufactory in Pimlico, 
near London. 

The Model 
stands on a base of two feet diameter, and its height is 53 inches. 

The outward cylinder, which supports the water in the re- 
servoir, is of cast iron. 

_ The inner cylinder, in which the wheel moves, is of wrought 
iron, and its lower end, through which the cuts or water pas- 
sages are made, is of brass. 

The depth of the reservoir is about 51 inches. 

The number of cuts or water paf.sages is 21, and their dcp^h 
one inch. 

The wheel and floats are of brass. 

The diameter of the wheel is 12 inches, and the number of 
floats is 79, a prime number. 

B 2 A ma» 

260 yi short Accouni of Horizoiilnl Waler-Wheels. 

A mahogany wheel or pulley of equal diameter to the wheel is 
fixed on the top of the spindle, and above it one of about 6'S 
inches diameter is fixed, for the purpose of making experiments. 

The water escapes at the bottom quite round the machine. 


With this model or mill, the following experimerits were made. 

When the reservoir was full to above four feet above the cen- 
tre of pressure, or middle point in the cuts, the wheel made 
nearly four revolutions in a second, and, as no weight was then 
suspended, this was its greatest velocity. 

A cord was then fixed to the smaller wheel, and passed over a 
pulley, with a weight suspended, when twelve revolutions of the 
wheel made in 

25^ ri2i r 50- 1 -^ 

13 I seconds) 10 I , oi f . J 9<^'"92 I feet in a 

6 Raised i gSpounds, 21feet,or<^2lO- ^minute. 

Sj L ej L252- J 

Then each weight multiplied by the height to which it was 

raised in a minute gives the momentum ; therefore 

12 X 50- 4= ()04-8\ 

10 X 96-92= 969-2 f . 
o oiA ii?on > -the momentum. 

8x210- =1doO- C 

6x252- =1512- 1 

Hence it appears, that the third experiment produced the 

greatest effect, and that the wheel then made twelve revolutions 

in six seconds, or two in one second, and therefore it moved \vith 

nearlv half of its greatest velocity. Consequently, when the 

wheel moves with nearly half of its greatest velocity, it works to 

the greatest advantage, supposing the third experiment to be 

the maximum. 

Diameter or Size of the JVkeel. 

This wheel may be made of any diameter that may be required 
for making a given number of revolutions in a given time. 


The wheel may move with any velocity whatever that can be 
obtained from the fall. 

Mr. Banks, at page 105 of his Treatise on Mills, by taking a 
mean of the experiments made by six different authors, for the 
purpose of finding with what velocity water will issue from a fall 
of a given depth, gives 5*4 x square root of the depth = velo- 
city of the water. 

But according to these experiments, 6 comes much nearer 
than 5*4, and also agrees exactly with the experiments made by 
Banks himself j and as, in these experiments, it gives nearly the 


A short Account of Horizontal Water-Wheels . 261 

velocity of the wheel, therefore 6 x square root of the depth = 
velocity of the wheel, and this may also, in practice, be taken 
for the velocity of the water without any material error, though 
its velocity will always be something greater than that of the 
wheel when moving without resistance. 

On these principles a small wheel with a high fall will move 
with a velocity amazingly great. Thus, let the diameter of the 
wheel be one foot, and the height of the fall eighty -nine feet, then 
6 v/ 89 = 56*60388 feet, the velocity per second; and as the cir- 
cumference of the wlieei is 3* 14 16 feet ; therefore 

As 3-1416 : 1 : : 56'603S8 : 18 revolutions per second. 

or IS X 60 = 1080 revolutions in a minute. 


In the specification, the power of the horizontal wheel was 
compared to that of the overshot, on a sujjposition that the force 
of a stream of water acting against a perpendicular plane near 
the orifice from which it flows, is nearly equal to the weight of 
the column which impels it, as Mr. Banks has proved by experi- 

But in making some experiments for the purpose of ascer- 
taining t!ie manner in which the water acts against the floats of 
the Iiorizontal wheel, it appeared. 

That if a stream of water from a horizontal pipe, act against 
a perpendicular plane near ihe orifice with any considerable force, 
it will spread quite round in a tliin sheet parallel to the plane, 
and leave it on all sides in that direction ; and 

That if the edge of the stream be brought a little beyond the 
edge of the plane, so that part of it may pass by, it will form an 
angle with it ; and that as the further side of the stream ap- 
proaches the edge of the plane, the angle will increase until they 
coincide, when it will become a right angle. 

Hence it is evident, that there is a reaction in this machine 
against the water coming in, which it is impossible to avoid, and 
that this is what reduces its power below that of the overshot 
wheel ; but that this reaction is very different from the centri- 
fugal force. 

Before we proceed to compute the power of the wheel, it is 
necessary to observe, that when the radius is one, the width of a 
cut is equal to the natural versed sine of the angle between two 
of thern, taken at the centre, and therefore, 

If the versed sine of the angle between two cuts be multiplied 
by any given radius, the product will be the wirlth of a cut to 
that radium ; and since all the cuts, in any cylinder, are equal in 
width, as they are also in depth ; therefore, 

If the versed sine of the angle between two cuts be niultiulied 
R3 by 

262 A ihort Account of Horizontal Waler-Whecls. 

by the radius, and then by the number and depth of the cuts, 
that is versed sine x radius x number x depth, it gives the 
area of a rectangular section equal to the area of the perpendi- 
cular sections of all the cuts. 

In the model the radius is six inches, the number of cuts 
twenty-four, and their depth one inch ; the angle 1 5", and its 
versed sine -034074 ; therefore 

•034074 X 6 X 24 X 1 =4-9O60."i6 square inches, 
which, in consequence of the cuts having been made rather wider 

by dressing, is taken at five square inches or —- scjuare feet, 

and the water being four feet deep, its velocity was 6'\/4 = 12 
feet per second ; 

5 X 1 '2 5 

Hence, — ,-= -^ cubic feet of water issue in a second, or 

-^ 144 12 ' 

5 X 60 f^_ 1 • /• 

■ = Id culjic leet m a mmute. 


Therefore for the power, we have 25 cubic feet, or 25 x62'5 
pounds of water descending through four feet in a minute ; hence 

The momentum of tiie jjower is 25 x62o x 4 = 6250. 

Then to find the momentum of the effect, according to Mr. 
Smeaton's method ; — when the wheel moved without water, a 
weight of ten ounces gave it a velocity of two revolutions per 
second. Therefore according to the third experiment, the 
weight raised was eight pounds ten ounces, or 8 "625 pounds j 

The momentum of the effect was 8-625 X 210=181 1-25 and 
as 6250 : lSll-25 : : 1 : -2898 the effect. But if the velocity of 
the water be found according to Mr. Banks's mean of the ex- 
periments of six different authors, it will be 10 S feet per se- 
cond, and the effect v.'ill be '322 ; and this makes the power of 
the horizontal wheel doui)le to that of the imdershot, according 
to the second example in Mr. Smeaton's Table. 


Mr. Smeaton, at- page 12 of his Treatise on Mills, gives an 
account of an experiment on the undershot wheel, where it ap- 
pears that his head, or fall, of water was tiiirty inches, and that 
264'7 pounds weight of water was expended, or descended 
through thirty inches in a minute ; hence. 

The momentum of tlic power was 264-7x30 = 7911, that 
9-375 pounds weight of water was raised through 135 inches 
in a minute by the wheel ; hence. 

The momentum of the effect was 9-375x135=1265-625, 
therefore as 794 1 : 1 265 625 : : I ; • 1594 the effect^ and -1594 X 2 
= •3188=;: double the effect. 


A short Account of Horizontal Water-Wheels. 263 

But it appears that Mr. Snieaton has inserted "32 in his 
Table as the true effect in this case, on a supposition that the 
same effect may be obtained iiom iialf the power ; and he there- 
fore multiplies the weight of the water expended in a minute by 
15, or half' the depth, instead of 30, which was the depth through 
>\'hich the water, that turned the wheel, actually descended in a 

Had he made such a discovery as this, he ought to have given 
a demonstration, or a clear proof of its truth ; for his argument 
about a viriual h'^ad, certainly gives no such proof: on the con- 
trary, he says that he has obtained more than double of what is 
assigned by theory; and that this is very different from the opi- 
nions and calculations of authors of the first reputation. 

The reason of making this remark is, that it is probable the 
power of tlie horizontal wheel will be compared with that of the 
undershot, according to Mr. Smeaton's Table, where he has in- 
serted double the power of the undershot wheel (or very near it) 
according to his own experiments. 

The horizontal wheel may be used in any fail however high or 

In low Falls. 

Example. — Let the depth of the fall be two feet, diameter of 
the wheel twenty feet, number of cuts twenty-four, and their 
depth four inches ; 

Then, by the Table, the angle between two cuts is 15", and 
its versed sine -03-1074 ; therefore, 

•034074 X 10x24 X 4 = 2-72592 square feet, or the area of a 
rectangular passage equal to that of the perpendicular sections 
of all the cuts. 

This may therefore be considered as the base of a column of 
water, the height of which is the perpendicular distance from the 
surface to the centre of pressure or the middle point of the cut, 
which in this case is 22 inches, or '^' feet; hence we have 

2'75I)2 X 'J =5 cubic feet, nearly =5 xfi2-5=3l2*5 pounds 
weight constantlv impelling the water through the cuts against 
the floats (]uitc round the wheel, and 3r2'5 divided by 24, gives 
13 pounds for each cut or passage. The greatest velocity of 

the wheel will be ^ \'^ ^^ = v^ (16 = 8- 124, or about eight feet per 
fiecond; and therefore when it works to the greatest advantage 
will be four feet per second. Then 

as 4 : r ; : 2Ux3-l4lG : l5'-7 time of a revolution. 

In high Fulls. 
In order to obtain the full force of the water here in the same 
11 1 manner 

iO-l A short Account of Horizontal JVate)' -Wheels. 

manner as in low falls, the height of the walls of the reservoir 
would rcipiire to be ecpial to fiat oi fhe fall. But, 

This however is not net•t•^sarv, as bnth the reservoir and inner 
cylinder mav he covered at anv proper height, as denoted by the 
dotted line in the plate, h\\X the reservoir must be made water- 

A pipe mav then be brought from the surface of the water to 
the bottom of the reservoir, where it must be so fixed that the 
water mav (low from it in the same direction as the wheel turns, 
which, in that respect, will augment the power. 

But as this supplving pipe will be in the place of a reservoir 
of water, the area of a section of it ought to be greater than the 
sum of the areas of the perpendicular sections ot all the cuts, 
and it ought also to be constantly full up to the top, otherwise 
the water would not be supplied so fast as it could [lass through 
the cuts, and a part of the power would be lost, unless there were 
a contrivance for covering or shutting up part of the cuts. 

Example. — Let the depth of the fall be 81 feet, diameter of 
the wheel 10 feet, number of cuts 30, and their depth half a 

Then, by the Tal)le, the angle between two cuts will be 12°, 
and its versed sine -021852 ; therefore, 

•021852 X 5 x30 X ^ = 1-6389 square feet, which is the area 
of a rectangular passage, equal to that of the perpendicular sec- 
tions of all the cuts, and the diameter of a circular pipe of equal 
area will be 17'3 inches, therefore the diameter of the supplying 
pipe must be greater than this. 

If the radius of the wheel and depth of the cuts remain the 
same, the greater the number is, the less will the area of the 
whole of their perpendicular sections be, and consequently, the 
less water will pass through them, but it will act nearer to the 
circumference ; and therefore, in proportion to its quantity, will 
produce a greater effect. 

Example. — Let the numbers be 12, 16, 30, 50, then these 
multiplied l)v their respective versed sines will be 

12 X •133975=1- 6077 1 ,•. ,, ,• r ,, <• 

!£• A-£>i.->A 1 .ii-n.i /which are the ratios or the sums ot 
16 x*0/6r20=l-21/92f ,, c .u • a- \ 

on noiuco Ai-c-c/i> the areas oi their perpendicular 
30 x-021852=:0-65D56r . ^ '^ 

. 60 x -007885 = 0-39425 1 sections. 

Hence, when th( quantity, or supply of water is great, the 
number of cuts must be small, and, on the contrary, when it is 
small, the number of cuts must be great in order to obtain the 
greatest effect. 


^ short Account of Horizontal Water- JVheels. 265 

The following Problems may sometijnes be useful : 

Prob. ] . Given the angle between two cuts, to find the number 
of cuts. 

Rule. Find the angle in the table, and against it stands the 

Prob. 2. Given the num.ber of cuts, to find the angle be- 
tween two. 

Rule. Find the number in the table, and against it stands 
the angle. 

Prob. 3. Given the angle between two cuts and the radius 
of the wheel, to find the width of a cut. 

Rule. Multiply the versed sine of the angle by the radius, 
and the product is the width of a cut. 

Prob. 4. Given the number of cuts and the radius of the 
wheel, to find the width of a cut. 

Rule. Fnid the versed sine (against the number) in the 
table, and multiply it by the radius for the width. 

Prob. 5. Given the angle between two cuts and the vvidth 
of one, to find the radius of the wheel. 

Rule. Divide the width of the cut by the versed sine of the 
angle, and the quotient is the radius. 

Prob. 6. Given the number of cuts and the width of one, 
to find the radius of the wheel. 

Rule. Find the versed sine (against the numl>er) in the table, 
by which divide the width, and the quotient is the radius. 

Prob. 7 • Given (D) the depth of the fall, and [a) the dia- 
meter of the wheel, both in feet, or both in inches, to find the 
number of revolutions in a given time. 

Rule. Take -- -,^ , = -- — - = « = number of revolutions 

J' 141 bit > i'^Ua 

in a second; then n X number of seconds in the given time 
gives the number of revolutions in that time. 

Example. Let D = 45 feet and d=.h feet; then 

v'45 -r-*5"2.*^r> X 5 = 2o62 revolutions in a second = ??, and 
2',)62 x60= i53'72 revolutions in a uiumte 

Prob. 8. Given (D) the depth of the full, and {n) the num- 
ber of revolutions in a given time, to find the diameter of the 
wheel . 

Rule. Find {n) the number of revolutions in a second: 

TU . a/d V'S , 

Then since ——— = 7/, .•. -— -- =zd. 

Example. Let D = 30 feet, and the number of revolutions 


266 A short Accmint of Horizontal Water-Wheels. 

in a minute = 138, then 13S-r-60=2-3 = n, and 
V30-=-"5236 x23 = 455 feet, the diameter required. 

It may be proper iicrc to observe, that when the quantity of 
water is not too great, nor the fall too high nor too low for the 
overshot wheel ; its power will exceed that of tlie horizontal ; 
vet, in general practice the horizontal will certainly he superior, 
for the following- reasons : 

1. Because the horizontal will act in any fall, its friction will 
not increase in' tiie increase of water, and as it receives the wa- 
ter quite round the circumference, it will (when the supply is 
fiufficient) work with a quantity greater than can be applied to 
the overshot without great loss of jiovver. 

2. In the horizontal, while the depth from the surface of the 
water to the centre of force in the cuts remains the same, the 
power will increase with the quantity of water acting against the 
floats, or as the depth of the cuts ; and since the quantity of 
water increases also with the circumference, or the radius of the 
wheel : Thercfoie 

The power will be as the product of the radius and depth of 
the cuts. 

Thus, if the depth of the cuts l)e made three times as great, 
and the radius tvvice as great, the pov.-er will be 3 x2 = 6 times 
as great. Hence 

If, in the model, the dc])th of the cuts be made 10 inches, 
and the radiiis (50 inches, or ten times as great, the power w-ill 
be 10 X 10=100 tinies as great, though tlie depth of the fall 
would be increased only '1 \ inches. 

3. When the depth of the fall is given, the size of the over- 
shot, as also its velocity, is fixed ; for if its diameter be 16 feet, 
its velocity, to produce the greatest effect must be five feet per 
second ; but the velocity of the liorizontal wheel, with a fall of 
16 feet, must i)e 12 feet per second. Again, an overshot of 
36 feet diameter mu'it move 5-33 feet per second; but a hori- 
zontal with a fall of 36 feet must move with a velocity of 18 feet 
per second, to produce the greatest effect. 

4. The overshot nmst have a wheel fixed on its axis, and con- 
nected with other wheels or machinery before any effect can be 
produced ; but in the horizontal this is sometimes not necessary, 
as a mill-stone may be fixed on the top of the axis, and made to 
revolve with a prop.T velocity, without any connexion with other 


On Ebbing and Flowing Sprhigs. 


Table showing the Angle letiveen tico Cuts loilh its natural 
versed Sinejrom 9 ^o 52. 


V. Sine. 


V. Sine. 


40 b 



U 36-79 




-190983 1 


11 15^ 



32 43-63 

•158746 I 


10 54^55 




-133975 i 


10 35-29 



27 41-54 



10 17-14 



25 42-86 







■086454 ' 


9 43^78 



22 30 



9 28^42 



21 10-59 



9 13 85 









18 56-81 



8 46-83 






8 34^28 



17 8-57 



8 22-33 



16 21-82 



8 10-91 



15 39-09 









7 49-56 



14 24- 



7 39-57 



13 50-77 



7 30- 



13 20- 



7 20-82 



12 51-43 



7 12- 



12 24-83 



7 3-53 






6 55-39 

•00729 1 

^V. Adamson', Ebury-?trtet, Five-fields, CJlielsea, 
August. 20, 1817. 

XLIV. On Ebbing and Flowing Springs; trith Geological 
Remarks and Queries . By A Correspondknt. 

To Mr. TiUoch. 

Si a, — i N the Number of your Magazine for August, Mr. Inglis 
scom.s to liavc satisfactorily accounteil for the ebbing and flowing 
bpring of fresh water at Bridlington quav, bv the pressure of the 
sea upon a stratum of flexible clay which divides the fresh iVoni 
the sea water. 

His assertion that this bed of clay extends to the Spurn Point 
is probably correct; but he is not so, in supposing that it will l)e 
f()\ind to rise and fall with the ebbing and flowing of every tide ; 
at least that ellcct h not produced in the nci^hbourhuod of Hull, 


268 On Ebbing and Flow'mg Springs. 

at which town I resided several months about twenty years ago. 
I was then assured that no pure iVesh water could be had there, 
but from under a stratum of clay which at the Block-house mill 
was at the depth of about ninty-eight feet, and is supposed to 
basset or out-crop a few miles west of Hull. I made some in- 
quiries as to the stratification in those parts, and was told that 
the hard chalk rock of which Flamborough Head is composed, is 
at the surface a little to the west of Hull, and from thence is said 
to dip E. to Spurn Point, and SE. into Lincolnshire, at the rate 
of five yards per mile. The strata incumbent upon it reckoning 
downward are ; viz. 

1st. Soil or earth, two feet. 

2d. Warp, twenty -two feet, being about the height of the 
highest tide at Hull. 

od. Morass, about three feet, in which are found decayed ve- 
getables and large trees. 

May not this morass be connected with the submerged forest 
near the mouth of the Humber on the Lincolnshire coast? See 
Phil. Transactions for 1799, part i. 

4th. Alluvial, at Hull about seventy feet, consisting of sharp 
loose sand, carbonated wood, chalk, &c. below which is a stra- 
tum of compact while clay more or less thick, between which 
and the chalk rock is lodged the only pure water to be got in 
that neighbourhood. 

At Sproatley, the chalk rock is supposed to be 198 feet below 
the surface. 

Swanland and Riplingham hills, to the west of Hull, are re- 
ported to be chalk with alternate layers of flint 6 to 8 inches 
thick. The latter hill is 400 feet above the level of the Humher, 
and is said to have been penetrated .50 feet below it. 

As all the Yorkshire wolds are chalk hills, it is not probable 
that water could be there procured by boring, as suggested by 
Mr. Inglis; but in the neighbourhood of Hull, and to the east, 
it is practicable. In November 1798, I visited a farm-house 
about three miles from Hull, and about a quarter of a mile on 
the left of the road leading from thence to Beverley. Four 
months before, they had sunk a well and bored for water; and at 
the depth of 58 feet came upon a spring which had to that time 
invariably thrown up, to the height of t>vo feet above the surface, 
a column of pure soft water which discharged more than twenty 
gallons per minute*. I have not since had an opportunity of 
ascertaining whether this spring continues to furnish a supply 
of water ; but at Sheerness and Winibleton it is well known 
that wells sunk to much greater depth have continued to afford 

* They told me forty <;all(»iis, but I wish to lie wiLhin compass. 

a con- 

On/orming Collections of Geological SpecithenS. 269 

a constant supply, though not to the surface. I was induced to 
communicate these particulars to you, in the hope that some of 
vour intelligent readers resident in that vicinity, or others that 
have visited it, may be competent to furnish more correct or 
further information on this subject. 
1 am, sir, 
Your most obedient servant, and constant reader, 
Wakefiel.l, Sept. 10, 1817. W. S. 

XLV. On forming Collections of Geological Specimens; and 
respeclivg those of Mr. Smith in the British Museum, 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — XT cannot fail to be a source of pleasure to every one 
to witness the progress of discovery, particularly in those sciences 
which are of real use to mankind: and the more so, when the 
nature of the science is such, that there are few men of observa- 
tion who cannot contribute their mite towards its progress. 

Accordingly, we find that most of the useful sciences have at 
one time or another become objects of general attention, occa- 
sioned either by some fortunate discovery, or happy simplifica- 
tion of an apparently difficult branch of study. We are glad to 
find that geology, among the rest, is now beginning to share the 
attention of men of science, being well aware that its improve- 
ment will be the natural consequence. 

One great step towards this improvement, will be the forming 
of collections of specimens, on such principles as are best adapted 
to the purpose of identifying the sujjerficial strata of the earth ; 
and of elucidating^ the nature of their formation, and of the 
gradual changes which have taken place ou the surface of this 

It cannot, however, be exjiected that the relative position or 
identity of a stratum is to be determined, with certainty, from 
any single character ; therefore it is obvious that a geological 
collection of specimens must differ materially from a collection 
of minerals. For the mineralogist, a simple specimen of each 
mineral substance is sufficient — but a fossil shell, petrifaction, or 
mineral is useless to the geologist, unless it be accompanied with 
a proper description of the stratum, and of the exact place from 
whence it was obtained : hence it is necessary that a descriptive 
catalogue should always accomjjany a collection of geological 

Mineralogy is an art that becomes more curious than useful, 
unless it be connected with geology or chemistry; but its useful- 


270 On forming Collections of Geological Specimens. 

iiess to either of these sciences is unquestionable*. In geologv, 
however, it is as hkoly to mislead, as to conduct us to the |)roper 
end of our researches, unless it be directed to its proper object. 

The nio-^t important, and hy far the most interesting part of 
geology, is that which describes and determines the relative ages 
of the strata which form t!ie superficial crust of the earth ; — to 
these strata we must look for a history of the changes which the 
surface of the earth has undergone. 

The limited powers which we possess of gaining information, 
renders it necessary that we should examine with the most care- 
ful attention the means wliicli we have, and that we should ap- 
ply them in the best manner to account for the phsenomena. 

The natine of the organic remains that are found imbedded 
in many of the strata, apj)ears to have been considered capable of 
throwing some important lights on this subject, by many writers, 
who seem, however, to have liad no correct ideas respecting the 
manner of rendering this kind of knowledge useful, and their 
statements are general and incorrect ; sucli as must ever arise 
from limited and hypothetical views of a subject. 

It is to the meritorious exertions of Messrs. Smith, Sowerbv, 
and Parkinson, that we are chiefly indebted for the true applica- 
tion of mineral conchology in explaining the structure of the 
earth ; but more particularly to Messrs. Smith and Sovverby, 
who have directed their attention to the subject, with the view 
of rendering it useful in identifying the strata. 

Mr. Parkinson's " Organic Remains of a Former World" has 
been some years before the pn!)lic : in this work he has given 
the localities of many shells, but not often their places in the 

Mr. Farey has laid before your readers f an alphabetical list of 
the places where the shells were found, that are described in the 
first volume of Mr. Sowerby's "Mineral Conchology," with the 
situations of the places, the names of the shells, and the places 
in the British series of strata to which they belong — this latter 
object having been but imperfectly accomplished in the text of 
the " Mineral Conchology," 

Since that period Mr. Sowerby's collection has been much 
increased by the contributions of the friends of science, and he 
has now published the xxxth number of his " Mineral Con- 

* Many valuable analyses of n)incrals arc extremely unsatisfactory, from 
tlie want of a correct description of the specimens analysed. This nef;lect 
lias been very justly censured by an able chemist, (Annals of Phil. No. 52, 
]j. 332,) whose example, in this respect, is well worthy of imitation; as 
well us his manner of desciibins; minerals, which is a modification of that 
followed by tiie exccllciit Kirwan. 

t Philobophicai Maijazinc, vol. xlvi. p. 211. 


On forming Collections of Geological Specimens. 2/1 

Also, in consequence of some pecuniary assistance from Go- 
vernment, Mr. William Smith has begun to lay the result of hi3 
researches before the public*. This assistance has been given 
Mr. S. on condition that he arranged and placed his collectioii 
of fossil shells, &c. in the British Museum, for the use of tlie 
public. He has already published several numbers of his " Strata 
identified by organized Fossils,'"' containing engravings of the 
most characteristic shells of each stratum; and also the first part 
of his " Stratigraphical System of Organized Fossils f/' refer- 
ring to the specimens in the British Museum. 

The latter work describes the prii!ci])al shells found by him in 
the British series, from the uupertnost down to the lias strata : 
and with this communication you will receive an alphabetical 
list of the places where these shells were found, with the num- 
ber of species from each place. The object of this list is to direct 
the attention of collectors to the places from whence specimens 
are most likely to be obtained ; both to enable them to repeat 
the observations of preceding inquirers, and to extend their ob- 
servations to other places J. X and Z. 

An Alphabetical List of the 263 Places which supplied Mr. W. 

Smith with the 1155 Specimens of Fossil Shells above the 

Lias Strata, that are deposited in the British Museum, and 

described in the first part of his " Str-atigraphical System." 

... , Species. Species. 

Abbotsbury .. .. 1 Bath-Easton .. .. 1 

Aldboroug'h .. .. 12 Bath-Hampton .. 2 

Alderton . . . . 3 foot of plain I 

Alfred's Tower . . 1 Bayford, S. of, . . 11 

Ancliff .. .. 4 Bciitlev .. .. 4 

Baglcy- Wood Pit .. 11 Black-dog Hill, near > 

Banner's Ash . . .. ^ Standenvick W * 

Bath, near, . . . . 33 Black-down 


* It is to be regretted that Mr. S. Iiad not encourasremcnt sufficient to 
induce Inm to publish those works sooner, as we understand he lias !(.ii2 
leen in possession of the niatcri.nls; i:)deed tliey form tlie basis of Ins 
great work " The Map of the Strata of England and Wales ;" and tlicrr- 
forc he must have been far advanced in those inquiries when he bctran that 
arduous nndortakin;^. 

t Wc shall be better pleased with this work when it is furnished with 
a copious index to both the shells and places, with the bearing and di- 
stani.e ol each place from some principal town or villaj^e. AltcTa simple 
outline enj^raving of each shell would be very desiiable. These additions 
vould add much to the real value of the work, without materially increas- 
ing the expense,— an expense which miglit perhaps have been lessened in 
some other respects. 

; See Phil Mag. vol. xlv. p. 577-'J?0, where some judicious remarks are 
luadc on collecting lotsil shells, &c. ivc. 


2/2 .Onjhrmhig Collections of Geological Specimens. 



Bracklesham Bay 


. in Canal 


Bratton-Turnpike . . S 

Briglitvvell . . . . 6 

Brinkworth- Common 5 

Brixton-Causeway, Well 1 

Broadfield Farm . . 9 

Bruham . . . . 2 

Bruham-Pit (Coal Trial) 1 

Bubdown . . . . 2 

Burgh-Castle . . 1 

Burnham-Overy . . 1 

Bury .. .. 1 

Bury St, Edmund's . , I 

Caisson . , . . 1 

Calne .. .. 4 

Carshalton . . . . 1 

Castle-Combe . . 5 

Charlton- Harethorn . . 8 

Charmouth . . . . 1 

Cherry-Hinton . . 1 

Chesterford . . . . 1 

Chicksgrove . , , . 3 

Chipping-Norton . . 6 

Chiltern . . . . 4 

Christian-Malford . . 2 

Churchill .. .. 21 

Chute-Farm . . . . 37 

Clayton -Hill . . . . 1 

Closworth . . • . 8 

Coal-Canal .. .. 22 

Combe-Down . . 2 

Combhav . . . . 6 

Cotswoki- Hills . . 4 

Crevvkerne . . . . 1 

Cricksley-HiU . . 3 
Cross-hands . . 
Danbv-Beacon, near, 

Dauntsev-House (in stone) 4 
Derry-lHll . . . . S 

Devizes . . . . 2 

Devonshire Buildings, Bath 1 
Didmarton . , . . I 

Dilton . . . . 1 

Dinton-Park . . . . 1 

Dowdswell-Hill • • 1 

Down-Ampney . . 1 

Draycot . . . . 4 

Drysandford . . . . i 

Dudgrove-Farm . . 6 

Dundry . . . . 12 

Dun's Well, see Stilton-Farm 


Dursley i . 

Elencross . . < 



Even- Swindon 

Evershot . . . 





Frocestor-Hill, top . 

' — foot 

Frome, W. 

Gagen-Well, near . 
Glastonbury . . • 

Gloucestershire . 

Godstone, near, 
Great- Ridge 
Grimston, near, 
Gripwood . . 


Hardington ? 
Heddington Common 

Highgate Archway 
High worth . , • 



informing Collections of Geological Specimens. 273 . 

Hill-Marton .. .. 5 

Hinton . . . . 9 

Hinton-Waldrish . . 3 
Hogwood-Corner . . 1 

Hoikham-Park . . 1 

Holt .. .. 4 

Mordel- Cliff .. .. 1 

Hurstaiiton-Ci;ff . . 2 

Ilmington , . . . 1 

Kelloways . . . . 11 

Kennet and Avon Canal 3 

Kennington . . , , 6 

Keiit (County) . . 1 

Keswick . . . . 1 

Knock . . . . 1 

Castle and Barrow 1 

Lady- Down . . , . 1 

Farm . . 1 

' — ■ , on Biss liver 1 

LandsJown . , . . 2 

, near, . . 1 

Latton . . . . 2 

Laverton . . . . 2 

Leighton-Buzzard . . 1 

Leiston . . . . 1 

Old Abbey . . 1 

Lexham . . . . 6 

Liliput . . , . 1 

Little-Sodbury . , 1 

Longleat-Park . . 13 

Lullington . . . , 4 

Maisey- Hampton . . 2 

Marehain . . . . 1 

Marston, near Frome . . 1 

'May-Place, near, . . 2 

Mazen-Hill .. .. 6 

Meggot's-Mill, Coleshill, 2 

Melbury . , . . 11 

Meils .. .. I 

Mesterham (Well) .. 1 

Minchinhanipton-Common 1 

Minsmere (Iron Sluice) 1 

Mitford . . . . 5 

Inn , . , . 2 

MoiKkton-Combe . . 4 
Vol. 50. No. 234, Oct. 1S17. 

Moushold . , 
Nailsworth . , 
Naunton, near, 
Newborn . . 


. 11 

Newhaven Castlehill . , 2 

Newark, N.E. of, . . 2 

Northampton, N.W. of, 6 

North-Cheriton . . 2 

North fleet . . . . I 

North Wilts Canal . . 27 

County . , I 

Norton . , . . 1 

, near, . , 7 

Norwich ., .. 16 

Norwich, E. of, . . 4 

Oldford, near Frome . , I 

Orchardleigh , . . , 5 

Ormington, S.W. of, . . 1 

Penard-Hill .. .. 3 

Peterborough, near, . . I 

Petty-France . . . . 3 

S.S.W. of, 7 

Pewsey ,, .. 3 

Pickwick ., ., 14 

Pipe-House . , . , 1 

Playford .. ,. 4 

Portland-Isle . . . . 5 

Pottern .. .« 1 

Poulton . . . . 1 

Quarry, Bradford 1 

Prisley-Farm . . . . 3 

Redlynch .. .. 3 

Riegate, N. of, . . 3 

Road-Lane . . . . 1 

Road .. .. .. 5 

(Coal-trial) .. 1 

Rowley-Bottom . . 1 

Rundaway-Hill . . 6 

Sandford (Church-yard) 2 

Sallyford . , . . i. 

Scend (in Kennet and > . 

Avon Canal) , . $ 

Seagry (Well) . . 1 

Sheldon ., ,. 10 

S Sheppy 


Sheppy Isle ». 

— , W. of 

Sliotovei:-Hi!l . . 
Shriveiihain (in Wilts ^ 

and Berks Canal) ^ 
Siltoii Farm . . 

Smallcombe- Bottom 
Stanton, near Higlnvortli 

— - Field 

IStilton-Farm . . 

, Dun's-vvell 



Stone-Fartti, Yeovil 






Suffolk (County) 


Surrey (County) 



Well, near 

and Berks Canal 

Preface to " The Watural tlistofy 











Tellisford, near, 

, S.W. of. 

Thames and Severn C 



Tisbury . . 




Tucking-Mill . . 



Vineyard- Down 

Warminster, near, 





Wick-Farm . . 


Wilts and Berks Cana 

Wilts (County) 


, N. of, 

: , S.W. of, 






Wooton- Basset, near 


Writhlington . . 
Yarmouth, W. of, 



nal 6 





XLVl. Preface to " The Natural History of the Mineral King- 
dom. By JoHxV Williams, Mineral Surveyor, F.S.S.A." 

[Concluded from p. 200.J 

II. JL HE second thing proposed to our consideration in Dr. 
Hutton's Theory is, the consolidation of our rocks and strata, 
while still under the waters of the ocean, by th^ heat and fusion 
of subterraneous fire. — Our author's doctrine of subterraneous 


of the Mineral Kingdom.'" . 275 

fire, and its effects in tlie consolidation of the strata, by means 
ot fusion l)eneath the waters of the ocean^ is a singular hypo- 
thesis ; but it is not altogether new. 

Woodward and others have advanced the notions of central 
and subterraneous fires ; and they also pretended ro account for 
many of the pha?nomena of nature from the operations or effects 
of tliese imaginary fires : but I do not know tli:it any of them 
before our author gave these fires the oflice of melting "the earthy 
mass, in order to cement and consolidate our strata; though 
Ray conjectures, that mountains might be farced up by earth- 
quakes, and by the Hatus of volcanic fire ; but none, that I know 
of, before the Doi;tor, luive given this iuiaginarv central fire the 
otlice of melting the oozy bed of the ocean, in order to reduce it 
by fusion into solid rocks and strata. 

Our author's abilities as a naturalist, and bis chemical know- 
ledge, enaole him to produce and reason upon many seeming 
facts to support and illustrate his hypothesis ; but, unluckily for 
this proposition, ue see in little the very same natural effects 
))roduced before our eyes without the application of visible fire, 
though not without the influence and effects of the elementary 
atmospherical fire. 

There is no room to doubt, that natural chemistry is more 
powerful, extensive, and various than the artificial. It is difficult 
to limit the powers and effects of variously combined mineral 
licjuors, in dissolving part of various fossil bodies in their natural 
situations, in the bowels of the earth. One thing we are sure 
<jf^ — that various terrene matters are in a dissolved or fluid state, 
mixed with the waters which percoUate the pores and cranies of 
our rocks and strata. 

As an undeniable ]iroof of this, we see numerous fossil bodies 
of various qualities and degrees of hardness formed and forming 
before our eyes, which are as well consolidated and cemented as 
it they bad been fused by fire upon our author's plan of cemen- 
tation ; and these, not in small and inconsiderable crystalliza- 
tions and stallactites, but we see considerably large concretions 
formed by a gradual accretion of matter-deposited by water. In 
some places, we see caverns of various degrees of extent and 
magnitude, some of which are almost, and others altogether 
fdled up by a small flow of water, depositing particles of stony 
matter; and the bodies so formed are afterwards consolidated, in 
the course of no very long tinv, to degrees or strength and in- 
duration equal to any of our rocks and strata. Alines recently 
worked arc in many places so quickly choaked up by the forma- 
tion of various concretions, that we are often obliged to demolish 
them, to prevent their stopping up the passage altogether. 

i have seen subterraneous mines or gailerics, which were 
^ '^ worked 

27(J Preface to « the Natural History 

tvorked by my direction, so filled up and choaked ; and I cafi 
shew some others, which, if neglected for ten or a dozen of 
years, would be choaked up so effectually, and the contents 
would be so consolidated, that it would require an expense to 
open them up again, almost it" not fully equal to the first. The 
history or natural philosophy of stonv concretions is already ex- 
plained in the second volume of my Essays, and need not be re- 
peated here. 

We find in many places various kinds of spar, of fluor, and of 
agate, formed and forming by water, depo&iting particles of dif- 
ferent qualities. Some of the bodies so formed are homogeneous, 
and some compounded. Some of these concretions assume a fine 
smooth uniform texture; others exhibit, when broken, a cubic 
and a tabulated structure; and others again have a coarse and 
homely grain in the inside. 

In some places, the quality of these concretions is calcareous, 
in others siliceous, and in many places ferruginous; and we fre- 
quently find them containing a mixture of particles of different 
(jualities. Many of these acquire degrees of strength and hard- 
ness e(|ual to any of our rocks and strata ; and therefore we may 
infer, that the cementing quality is either contained in the mass 
of matter deposited by the water, or that it is imparted by the 
influence of the atmosphere. 

I am much inclined to believe it is the last ; and I am per- 
suaded that the elementary fire of our atmosphere inspissates a 
great many fluid substances in all the three kingdoms of nature; 
and by penetrating their masses, and being detained and lodged 
there, brings them gradually to various degrees of solidity, 
strength, and hardness. 

Now it is very observable, that the cementing matter whicl;^ 
fills up the pores and interstices of our rocks and strata, — which 
connects their several parts, and promotes their solidity, strength, 
and induration, has the very same appearance, and is of the very 
same quality, as the various fossil concretions we are speaking 
of; but both the stony concretions and the cementing (juality of 
the strata contain a greater variety and mixture pf stony matter 
than we can easily enumerate or describe. 

From these observations we may safely infer, that these vst- 
rious substances of different qualities are now in a dissolved fluid 
state, mixed with vater. The various concretions formed by 
water, issuing into places accessible to the external air, justifies 
the inference, and proves the truth of it; and that our rock* 
and strata are cemented and consolidated by similar substances, 
is evident to our senses : but whether the cementing matter was 
contained in, and blended with the general composition when 
the btrata were first formed, or was afterwards insinuated by tjje 


ofihs Mineral Kingdom." 2/7 

percollation of water, through the pores and cranies of tlie strata, 
I will not now inquire. 

Some small veins and masses of these substances, found pure 
in our rocks and strata, seem to favour the supposition of the 
strata being cemented by the insinuation of particles, and the 
extraordinary induration of some of our external rocks counte- 
nances the same idea ; and I have no doubt, that the elemen- 
tary fire has a great share in producing every degree of solidity 
and induration. 

Much of the cementing matter of our rocks has more of the 
appearance of a jeliv, which is hardened by degrees from an 
aqueous solution, than of being produced by the fusion of fire. 

These observations and facts make it evident to a demonstra- 
tion, that fusion by fire is not necessary for the cementing and 
induration of our rocks and strata. We have abundance of ex- 
amples in little of a contrary process; and, in truth, the compo- 
nent parts of some of our strata, the inflammable quality of 
others, and every situation and piijenoraena of tlie strata in ge- 
neral, ])r()ves, that they have not been affected by fire. 

We see evident marks of water in the disposition, structure, 
and form, and in ail the exterior and interior phfenomena of the 
strata; but we see no real mark or character of fire, excepting 
in volcanoes, wliich are accidental, local, and very limited, have 
every character of being accidental, and only ])roduce disorder 
and confusion; and, moreover, the origin and natural history of 
volcanoes is |)retty v.cU known, and is investigated and explained 
in the second volume of my Essays. 

The philosop'rcr or naturalist, who can deliberately embrace 
the idea of our real strata being cemented and consolidated by 
fusion by fire, either under or out of the waters of the ocean, 
must have his mind strangely warped by attachment to system. 
Such a heat as would melt and bring the whole solid globe to a 
state of fusion, must neces-.arily heat the whole waters of the 
ocean up to boiling, and the boiling heat of tb.e waters must 
continue for many a.ges. 

I suppose, that a solid globe of the magnitude and density of 
our earth, heated to a state of fusion, would require many thou- 
sand years to cool again to the temperature of our earth and 
water ; of conicqvience, the waters would he kept in a boiling 
state the most of the time : What then would become of all the 
finny and testaceous tribes of the ocean ? 

Neither any of them, nor any of their spermatic powers and 
virtues could possibly live in such a heat ; of course, they must 
be all created anew after each of these worlds is cooled. Tiie 
terrestrial tribes must be in as bad a bituation as those of the 
watery eleiiieut. This iip])cars to be an aukvvard hypothesis. 

S3 With 

'278 Preface 'to '• The Natural History 

With respect to the solid part of the globe itself, such a sub- 
terraneous heat as would effectually penetrate the whole mass, 
so as to bring every ])art to a state of fusion, instead of leaving 
distinct and regular strata of various ijualities, thickuei^s, and 
other characters, separated from one auotlier, as we find them, 
the wliole solid globe must I)e run together into one sohd slag, 
which might exhibit many cracks and fractures after cooling; 
but they would all be the cracks and fractures of an immense 
mass of glass or slag. 

There could be no horizontal divisions, nor marks of strata of 
any kind, nor could we have any coal, nor any useful stone or 
fossil whatsoever. — Such is the nature of this extraordinary hy- 
pothesis ! 

We have the most earlv traditions of our globe siiffering a 
great catastrophe and change l)v water, which is recorded by 
Aloses, and by manv other eminent ancient philosophers ; and 
Count Ruffon, Dr. Hutton, and manv other modern naturalists, 
see and acknowledge the marks of water in ail parts of the su- 
perficies of the globe: but such is their bias to the system of 
.fire, that they attempt to convert all the rocks and strata of the 
globe into so manv lavas of different colours and structures ; and 
in order to countenance and assist their favouiite agent, with ail 
the powers of a heated r.nguarded imagination, one goes up 
to the source of all fue, in order to have the solid parts of our 
globe melted down in the sun ; another goes down to the sub- 
terraneous regions, and blows up his fire there to a sufficient de- 
gree of heat to melt all the superincumbent rocks and strata to 
the degree of fusion, even when immcised under tlie v.aters of 
the ocean, which is, I think, a new method of fusing earthy 
matter by fire. 

Otliers again are content to honour this agent with, the for- 
mation of some few of our strata, such as the basaltes, and a 
few others of nearly a similar apj)earance : hut after all that they 
have advanced, or can advance, to countenance this hypothesis, it 
is certain that none of the rocks and strata, whi<'h are a part of 
the solid superficies of our globe, exhibit any of the real marks 
and characters of being formed by fire. 

The (|uality, component part^, interior structure, and appear- 
ance of our rocks and strata, are very distim:uishai)le from slags 
or lava. Dr. Hutton acknowledges this in the (il.itli page of his 
Theory of the Earth, where he savs, that " a fusible substance, 
or mineral composition in a fluid ^tate, is cmitte'l from those 
places of the earth, at which subterraneous fire and expansive 
force are manifested in those eruptive operations. In examining 
these emitted bodies, men of science find a character for such 
productions in generalizing th<,^ substance, and understand the 


of the Mineral Kingdom." 27^ 

Natural constitution of those bodies. It is ia this manner that 
«uch a person finding a piece of lava in any place of the earth, 
says with certainty, Here is a stone which had congealed from a 
melted state." 

This passage is al)undantly distinct ; and I will say further, 
that it is generally verv easy for every unprejudiced naturalist to, 
distinguish a real stone from a piece of slag or lava. The ba- 
saltes is a real stone, which all modern philosophers have set 
down as belonging to the class of lavas; but 1 have made it 
evident in mv Essays, that the liasaltes is a real stone, the com- 
ponent parts of which I have pointed out ; and I have made it 
appear, that there are in several places many and extensive strata, 
of this stone, which are disposed in their stations among other 
-Strata of different characters and qualities, which are placed 
above and below the several strata of basaltes, and these strata 
of basaltes spread out as wide, and stretcii as far every way as 
the other diflfercnt strata>; which they are ranged; and 
therefore, no man, who understauds the real structure of the su- 
perficies of our globe, will pretend to say that basaltes js a lava, 
imless he says that all the other strata which accompany basaltes 
are also lava. 

Where strata of basaltine rocks are blended promiscuously, 
among strata of different rocks, it is neccssarv either to call them 
all strata of lava or strata of stone. Dr. Hutton indeed talks in 
his Theorv of inserting a lava, viz. basaltes, amoiig other strata 
of different qualities ; but I would ask the Doctor how he is to 
lifr, up the superincumbent strata to a suincient and equal height 
from the strata below them, for many miles extent every way, 
ymd to keep them asmuler, until such a (piantity of melted lava 
is poured in as will fill up alj the extcn,sive empty space to form 
the new inserted stratum. 

I am speaking of regular and extended strata, which belongs 
to the Piatural hi>,torv of basaltes, and I can shew Dr. Hutton a 
considerable number of strata of !)asaltes, l)lended stratum super 
stratum, among other various strata of different characters and 
qualities, among whicli are a considerable number of strata of 
pit coal ; and some of these coals are in immediate contact with 
fctrata of basaltes, as the immediate rs^of and pavement of the 
coals; and I can shew him all several strata, with their 
concomitant strata, in a stretch of many iniles ; and I can shew 
fcimilar phieuomena in West Lothian, in Ayrshire, and in Fife, 
^'c. ; and, therefore, it is difticult to believe that basaltes is lava, 
unless we also believe that seams of coal, and all their concomi- 
tant strata, likewise are lava, which souucfs very like an absur- 

It appears to nic rational, and even necessary to suppose, that 
S4 if 

280 Treface to «' The Natural History 

if the strata were consolidated and cemented by the heat and 
fusion cf subterraneous fire, all the strata, which have a tendency 
to, and may easily be hardened by fire, would be found in an in- 
durated state; but this in fact is not the case, — so far from it, 
that it is well known to every person who takes the least notice 
of these things, that we find in all countries great numbers of 
tilly and argillaceous strata, so very soft, that they differ little 
from a mere sediment from which the water has been pressed 
out, and which decomposes and falls to a mere seiliment or clay, 
almost immediately upon being exposed to the external air. 

And It is remarkable, that these soft argillaceous strata are 
commonly situated immediately above and below very hard strata 
of indurated stone, upon which the external air has no sudden 
visible effect. How shall we account for this fact upon this hy- 
pothesis? It cannot be pretended that these soft strata con- 
tain any marks or characters of being consolidated l)v the heat 
and fusion of fire ; for they are not consolidated nor cemented 
at all, but only compressed by the siiperincuml)ent weight of 
strata ; nor can it be pretended, that they are not cai)able of 
being hardened by fire. 

In fact, we know tlie contrary by experience, as they are every 
day hardened in our open fires, and in proper kilns, for various 
purposes, and to various degrees of solidity and induration. If 
subterraneous fire had produced the solidity of our rocks, these 
soft substances would have been indurated, as well as their con- 
comitant strata. 

But these soft strata are a proof, that our rocks ar3 cemented 
J)y a terrene, sparry, and siliceous fluid, which is, by degrees, 
inspissated and hardened by the pressing out or evaporation of 
superfluous moisture; and they also prove, that these argillaceous 
strata can only be consolidated and cemented by fire, which has 
not been applied to them. We can only select a few facts which 
oppose this system. The instances to be found in the book of 
nature are endless. 

III. The third proposition which we are to consider in our 
author's Theory of the Earth, viz. That the rocks and strata,, 
which were formed and consolidated beneath the waters of the 
ocean by subterraneous fire, were afterwards inflated and forced 
up from under water, by the expansive force of the same subter- 
raneous fire, to the height of our habitable earth, and of all the 
mountains upon the f ice of the globe, is an hypothesis as singular 
and extraordinary as the consolidation of strata beneath the wa- 
ters of the ocean by the heat and fusion of fire. 

Most of the operations and eflTects of subterraneous fire, that 
we have any knowledge of, are outrageously violent and destrnc^ 
t.ive^ and only procluge disorder an4 ruin, If the bed of the 

of the Mineral Kingdom,'*^ 26 1 

tocean was really to be forced up by subterraneous fire to the 
height of our mountains, we mii;iit expect to find as great con- 
fusion and disorder, and marks of ti.e ruins of a world, among 
Dr. Hutton's mountains as among Dr. Burnet's ; but I have 
shewed, in my Natural History of Mountains, that the strata of 
our real mountains are as regular as in any of the plains. 

In truth, 1 have not seen such regularity of tiie strata anv 
where else as among the highland mountains of Lochaber, which 
are the highest in Britain. The local examples, which I have 
pointed out there, v\ill evince the truth of this assertion to anv 
who wish to ascertain the fact. 

Our author lays great stress upon the phcenomena of mineral 
veins, and of the ores and other substances found in them, to 
support and confirm his fiery system : but, in truth, every ap- 
pearance of mineral veins, and of their contents, point to water 
with a distinct and legible index, as the chief agent in their for- 
mation, &c. which subject I have investigated and explained in 
my Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom. 

Upon the supposition of our author's Theory of Mineral Veins 
being true, all our veins should be wide above,' and narrower be- 
low, which is not found true in experience, very many of them 
being exceeding strait and narrow for many fathoms next th.e 
surface, which are very wide further down; 'and if this Theory 
was true, every substance found in tliese veins should be tlie 
hardest in all the bowels Of the earth, because the force and 
violence of the subterraneous fire would have a much freer pas- 
sage through these open fissures, than through solid unbroken 
strata of several thousand miles of thickness; but this, in truth, 
IS not the case, the inside of many of our mineral veins being 
exceeding soft and argillaceous. ^ 

Again, upon the supposition of the contents of our mineral 
veins being formed by metallic steams, forced up from below by 
the influence of snbterranecuis fire, our mineral ores shmild be ajj 
pure and unmixed witli earthy or stony matter, which is not so; 
and moreover, upon this hypothesis, no metallic or mineral ore 
would be found out of the cavities of mineral veins ; Imt neither 
is this the case ; on the contrary, every mineralist knows verv 
well, that gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, &:c. are commonl'v 
found, ill a dispersed state, in large and smaller giaiiis, flowers 
and masses, thrcnighut the body of many of our rocks and strata 
intimately mingled with their composition us one of the com- 
ponent parts of such rocks and strata. 

Gold is generally found in grains of various sizes, mixed in the 
composition of many rocks and strata, and the origin of gold-dust 
is from tiic decomposition of the superficies of these rocks, which 
is wa-vhed down by the iloods^ and deppsitcd in the beds of ri'-ors. 


28^ Preface to " The Natural Histori/ 

Iron is lilciuJcd in great quantity in the composition of most 
of our rocks, and so abundantly in some of them, as to be worth 
smelting out for use; and, moreover, we have in many places 
great nmnbers of whole strata of iron-stone so rich as to bee(iual, 
if not to exceed, the best of our iron ores in the produce of the 

In working downwards, many of our mineral veins are cut out, 
and fail at various depths, by a different stratum coming in be- 
low, which the vein does not penetrate. The rich vein of lead 
at Llangunog, in Montgomeryshire, which was five yards wide of 
solid ore, was cut off below in this manner : 

A bed of schistus came in at a certain depth below, which cut 
out botli the (»re and the vein so entirelv, that no vestige of 
either entered the schistus, or could ever alter be found. Ex- 
tensive trials were made on all hands to no purpose, as neither 
vein nor ore ever appeared. 

These circumstances do not agree with the idea of our ores 
being formed by mineral steams, forced up by subterraneous 
fires ; and therefore we must acknowledge, tliat the substances 
of which our ores have been formed were poured into our veins 
bv water from above, as well as the various spars and all the 
contents of mineral veins. 

There is a curious and surprising mixture of many different 
substances in several mineral veins. In some of them, we find 
lead, copper, silver, and several other metallic and semi-metallic 
ores; and, in the same vein, wc fmd calcareous and siliceous 
spar, with a variety o! other stones and mineral matters of various 
colours, (jualities, and degrees of hardness; and we frequently 
find many of these, and sometimes all of them, blended together 
in the concavity of the same vein. 

Every piiasnomenon of these different ores and difffrent stones 
proves to ocular demonstration, that all the different substances 
in the cotnposition were poured in from a'oove, and mixed to- 
gether while in a humid or fluid state, and that they were after- 
wards consolidated together into such compound masses as we 
find them. 

IV. The fourth proposition offered to our consideration, in 
our author's Theory of the Earth, is also pretty singular, which 
is, that these operations of nature, viz. the decay and waste of 
the old land, the forming and consolidation of new land under 
the waters of tne ocean, and the change of the strata now form- 
ing under water into future dry laud, is a progressive work of 
nature, which always did, and always will go on, forming world 
after world in perpetual succession. 

This hypothesis agrees pretty nearly with Count Buffon's, 
only that the Count brings about his successive changes by n 


of the Mhieral Kingdom." 283 

watery process, without the agency of fire, after ha\'ing the Ori- 
ginal matter of the whole globe once thoroughly vitrified in the 

Both the Count and our author strenuously insist upon the 
waste of the superficies of the mountains, and of the rocky shores 
of the ocean, l>v the force of the tides and storms, as an infallible 
proof of the gradual destruction of tiie existing dry land, and 
they both infer from hence the successive changes of habitable 
worlds as a necessary con«eciuence. 

I have in my Essays fully investigated and explained these 
matters. I have pointed out the utmost extent of the waste of 
the mountains ; and I have acknowledged, that the weight of 
mighty waves, propelled bv the tides and stormy winds, have 
powerful effects in undermining and wasting the rocky shores ; but 
then I have made it evident, that this waste and destruction only 
ailvance to a certain length and degree, where it stops ; and I 
have drawn the line, and pointed Out the depredations of the 
waves with some exactness ; and have made it evident to our 
senses, that hitherto they come, but no farther. 

In some places, the sands are interposed to defend the rocks, 
and the very slow diminution of the sands bv attrition is abun- 
dantly made up by fresh supplies furnished by the rivers. In 
other places, the rocks are covered by a shelly incrustation, the 
work of small testaceous tribes, which perfectly defends these 
rocks against any injury from the waves. 

We mav suppose, that all or most of our maritime coasts wore 
at first exposed to the ravages of the ocean. At present, the 
greatest part is defended by the sands and testaceous incrusta- 
tions ; and it is rational to suppose, that, in the course of time, 
all the shores of the ocean will be perfectly defended by these 

With respect to the real encroachments which the sea has 
hitherto made, or mav hereafter make, upon the land, I think 
we may safely conclude, tliat a million of acres of new land have 
been made from the sedin)ent of the rivers for every single acre 
of the rocky shores that has been wasted by the waves of the 

This is no supposition ; it is a fact abundantly evident to our 
senses ; and it is a sort of retrograde operation towards the suc- 
cessive change of worlds contended for by our philosophers.. 

Dr. Hutton investigates a consider;'.blenund)er of fossil bodies,* 
and explains their phaenomena to countenance his own hypo- 
thesis. It would extend this preface to too great length, were 
I to examine what he has advanced upon them all. 

At present, I will only take notice of the testaccoiis tribes of 
the ocean. He tells usj that these exuviae, being found in the 


B84 Preface io " The Natural Histori/ 

body and composition of our rocks and strata, is a clear proof, 
that those strata were fortncd by water, — which is so fur trae. I 
also assert, that these exuvifs, and all the other remains of plants 
and animals found in the body and composition of our strata, is 
a decisive proof that the strata were formed by the agency of 
water; at the same time, I positively deny that our strata were 
formed beneath the waters of the ocean. 

The natural history of the formation of our strata is fully ex- 
plained in the second volume of my Essays upon rational aiid 
mechanical principles, to which I refer for satisfaction on this 
topic. In mv opinion, our author's philosophy is not more ex- 
ceptionable in anv part of his Theory than in treating of marine 
testaceous animals, as he makes these in effect to be very ex- 
tensive creators of matter, which is exalting them much too high- 
in our system of things. 

The Doctor says, that one-fourth part of the solid bulk of our 
globe is composed of limestone, marble, and other calcareous 
matter, which I think is giving it too great a proportion. My 
general observations have been pretty extensive ; and, as far as 
I can judge, all our, marbles, clialk-stone, and clay- 
marl, which is soft limestone, and all other calcareo\is fossil sub- 
stances, may amount to about a seventh or eighth part of the solid 
bulk of the superficies of the globe, which is a great deal indeed. 

Now our author asserts, in plain terms, and in several parts 
of his Theory, that tliis innnonse bulk of solid calcareous fossil 
matter was all of it prodirced from the remains of the testaceous 
tribes of the ocean. In my opinion, the proposition may be re- 
versed ; and we may with more truth assert, that the calcareous 
matter produced them, than that they produced it. 

Snail-shells are found in great numbers near old stone and 
lime walls ; yet we never imagine that these walls were pro- 
duced by snails. It is almost evident to our senses, that these 
animals find the calcareous matter in a fluid state mixed in the 
waters of the ocean and the land, which they collect and use to 
make shells, coral, &c. To say that they produce this matter, 
is much the same as to say that they create it. 

Matter is only changed from one form of e.sistence to another 
in the reproduction and growth of animal and vegetable i>()dies, 
but they reallv ))roduce no part of matter that did not exist be- 
fore in another form. 

I grant, that the exuviaj of testaceous animals are found in 
great abundance in many of our limestones and marbles, but not 
in all of them. There are very extensive rocks and strata of 
the mountain-limestones, and marbles of various colours, tex- 
tlnc, and degrees of hardness, jn which not the Iqast jiarticle of 
bh.'ll or cujal ib to be found. 


vf the Mineral Kingdom." S^ 

These shells are also found in several other strata besides the 
calcareous; all wliich only proves, that these marine exuviae were 
blended in the mass of chaotic matter when these several strata 
were formed ; but to say that these animals can produce any 
particle of matter, is not good piiilosophy. 

We know that calcareous matter certainly exists in a dis- 
solved fluid state, mixed in abunihuice with the waters of the 
ocean, which is separated from the water in considerable quan- 
tity, in the common process of making salt of sea Inine. How 
the testaceous tribes make use of it in making shells and corals, 
is too nice a process for my investigation. 

Shells and corals could not exist, as we find them in the body 
of the rocks and strata, upon the supposition of these rocks be- 
ing consolidated i)y the heat and fusion of fire; because a smaller 
degree of heat than is sufficient to bring our rocks to a state of 
fusion, would calcine all the shells and corals, with the lime- 
stones to hoot ; and when once they are calcined, they are no 
more shells, &c. but (iiiicklinie, to which they would fall with the 
least humidity; and the whole bowels of the earth, as far as we 
penetrate, is full of humidity. 

In short, few of our author's conclusions are defensible, — and 
no wonder, when he warps and strains every thing to support 
an unaccountable system, viz. the eternity of the world; which 
strange notion is the furthest of all from being defensible. 

All parts of nature, the minute as well as the grand and mag- 
nificent, proclaim aloud, and point out in legible characters the 
infinite power and skill of tlie all -wise and benevolent Creator 
and Preserver of the universe. The Supreme Being hath highly 
favoured us with an exalted station, and hath given us the image^ 
of his own attributes. We daily enjoy the fruits of his care and 
benevolence, and we feel the effects of his goodness, whether vre 
advert to and acknowledge it or not. 

The impressions of divinity are legibly stamped on all the 
works of (jod ; and when we clearly behold the characters of 
ineffable wisdom in the great plan of creation, — of infinite skill 
and intelligence in the contrivance, disposition, and fine fabric 
of all the parts of nature, — of almighty power in producing all 
things and upholding them, — and of exuberant and unbounded, 
goodness in communicating good to all animated nature, we 
then have exalted ideas of the Supreme Being ; and if we reflect 
upon our own distinguished rank and situation in the scale of 
beings, and of our privileges and powers of acquiring knowledge 
^d promoting mutual and social happiness, our hearts will exult 
in the display of the glory of the Creator in his works ; and if 
we believe that the Creator and CJoverHor of the woidd protects 


.286 Preface to<*' The History of the Mineral Kingdom J* 

and caves for tis, our hearts will overflow with grat^iful love of 
the Deity; we shall then rejoice in his vvorks and in his good- 

But sceptical notions have a pernicious influence in damping 
the sacred fire in our hearts, in coolins; the ardour of our spirits, 
and in blotting out the native impressions of the Deity stamped 
on our hearts. The wild and unnatural notion of the eternity 
of the world leads first to scepticism, and at last to downright 
infidelity and atheism. 

If once we entertain a firm persuasion that the world is eter- 
nal, and can go on of itself in the reproduction and progressive 
vicissitude of things, we mav then suppose that there is no use 
for the interposition of a governing power; and because we do 
not see the Supreme Being with our bodily eyes, we depose .the 
alnii^htv Creator and Governor of the universe from his office, 
and instead of divine providence, we commit the care of all 
things to blind chance. 

Like a mob, who think they can do vvcll enough without legal 
restraints, depose and slay their magistrates. But this is re- 
bellion against lawful authority, which must soon end in anarchy, 
confusion, and misery, — and so does our intellectual rebellion. 
How degrading is infidelity! how miserable must a thinking 
.man be in distress, who does not believe that there is at the head 
of the creation, a good, intelligent, and powerfii! I)eing, who cares 
.for his welfare tluough all the stages of existence ! 

That Dr. Hutton aims at establishing the belief of the eternity 
of the world, is evident from the vvliole drift of his system, and 
from his own words, for he concludes his singular theory with 
these singular expressions: " Having, in the natural history of 
the earth, seen a succession of worlds, we may from this con- 
clude, that there is a system in nature, in like manner as from 
seeing the revolutions of the planets, it is concluded that there 
is a system by which they are intended to continue those revo- 
lutions. But if the succession of worlds is estal)lished in the 
system of nature, it is in vain to look for any thing higher in the 
origin of the earth. The result, therefore, of our i)resent in- 
quiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect of 
an end." 

Thus, our modern philosophers labour hard to confirm their 
favourite scepticism, &c. by all possible means ; or, in other 
words, they lal)our hard to rob us of our best inheritance, both 
here and hereafter, — to sap the foundations of our belief in re- 
velation, and of the superintending care and love, and of the 
over-iuling providence of the all-benevolent, all-powerful God, 
our Saviour, who cares for us, and upholds us through all the 


On [he intended Eonet^r Steam- Boat. .287 

stages of our existence, — and like actual robbers, these philoso- 
phers give as nothing in exchange for our natural inheritance. 

If they say that we are poor mistaken ignorants, and that 
they wish to convince us of our error, — this is worse than nothing. 
If we err, in charity let us live and die in this error. It is more 
happy to live in a hill persuasion, — in a feeling sense of the love 
of God and man, while here, and in the confident hope of eter- 
nal felicity hereafter, than to suppose tliat there is no such thing, 
— that these divine faculties and propensities of our souls which 
make us capable of loving God and man, — of admiring God in 
his works, and of ranging through his creation v,-ith sublime de- 
light, — shall perisli for ever, and sink into the horrible gulph of" 
Jio/i-etit/tij. — Let us turn our eyes from the horrid aiivss, and 
stretch out our hands, and cr.y. Save, Lord, or we peri-h ! 

XL^'II. A/mcer to the Letter of C. ufExeler 07i Steam- Boats 
to he used iiiconvcyhigMerckandise by Sta. By Mr. James 

To Mr. Tilioch. 

Sir, — Jl oi'R Correspondent C. (of Exeter) has solicited in- 
formation relative to his proposed plan of constructing steam- 
vessels to convey merchandise between London and Exeter, with 
so much candour and good sense, that 1 cannot refrain from of- 
fering a few remarks on the subject to his consideration. — The 
utility and advantage of employing steam-packets, on rivers, to 
convey passengers is now p/etty generally admitted ; and not- 
withstanding that some accidents have occurred, tlieir number is 
increasing on all rivers suitable for them. The speed and ex- 
cellence of our coach continue however fornsidable rivals to them. 
The conveyance of yncrcliuiidise on rivers has latterly become an 
object of interest. In Scotlaiwl one or two ves-els are used for 
that purpose. In .-Vmerica, where the rivers are deep, brood, and 
navigable for several hundred miles, and wootl for fuel cheaply 
procured, several steam -vessels of great dimensions, with powerful 
engines aboard, are advantageously employed in conveying mer- 
chandise as well as passengers. 

Stimulated by the success attendant on these first efforts — the 
Americans have oven gone much further. Possessing a country 
abounding in timber, they have constructed frigates and floating 
batteries impelled by wheels worked by steam. These attempts 
however have not, nor cannot, succeed to any valuable e\tent, as 
long as wheels are the niedium of action on the water — because, 
as thoir action is necessarily limited and bupcihcial^ they must 


SSS On the intended Exeter Steatn-Soat. 

movfe bodies deeply immersed to great disadvantage. A (eVt 
years ago a steam-packet, of which I was a part-owner, having 
made a successful voyage ly sea from Scotland to London, led 
the way to siii.ilar attempts, and finally to the establishment of 
tire steam-packets to Margate. The above vessel plied some 
time on the Thames, and subsequently pa-ised over to the Seine. 
I confess, however, that I a:n decidedly of opinion, that as long 
as the common rotatory impellers are employed, such steam- 
packets are infinitely more unsafe at sea than vessels impelled 
by wind. As coasters, less risk is of coinse incurred ; because in 
case of accident, as steam -packets draw little water, thev mayjun 
ashore with safety. Necessity has compelled many persons to 
make voyages by sea in open boats, and they have frequently 
escaped ; but I believe few people would prefer from choice that 
mode of conveyance. Deceived l)v some exaggerated statements 
and reports (and contrary to my opinion detailed at some length 
in the newspapers of the day), a most respectable company in 
Dublin undertook the conveyance of passengers bv steam-packets 
with wheels, between Holyhead and Dublin. The attempt, how- 
ever praiseworthy, has not repaid the spirited proprietors the 
many thousands tliey have expended therein. 

The conveyance of merchavdise ly sea from Scotland to the 
North of Ireland was attempted by steam -vessels worked by or^ 
dinary wheels : — but I presume a failure, as I do not hear of their 
continuing to ply. If the secure conveyance of passengers by 
sea in steam-packets involves difficulties on the known plan, it 
is clear that the safe conveyance of merchandise involves greater. 
A knowledge of the difficulties to be surmounted is, however, a 
great step towards finding the means of overcoming them. 

At first eight-horse engines were employed in boats. Me- 
chanics, accustomed to machinery acting on immoveable fulcrums, 
and perhaps ignorant of the laws of fluids, imagined that they 
had only to increase the power of their engines, and that thereby 
the velocity of the vessel would be increased in proportion : but 
althou'^li thirty-six- and forty-horse engines arc now in common 
use, little comparative advantage has been derived therefrom ; 
and wherever the power is expended in giving an undue velocity 
to tiie impelling wheels, much water is lifted, and the speed of the 
vessel is diminished. In short, the waste of power, owing to the 
imperfect leverage on the water of the wheels in common use, is 
enormous. — Still on r'wcrs (as nothing superior has appeared ia 
use) this imperfection, being resolvable into a mere question of 
expense and convenience, forms no insurmoimtable bar to their 
beneficial employment. It should always be held in view, that 
large engines are expensive, are weighty, occupy much valuable 
room, and consume daily large quantities of fuel, oil,&c. increase 



On the intended Exeter Steam-Boat. 289 

the immersion of the vessel, and require it to be built of strong 
and ponderous materials ; and after all, if a rope was attached to 
the stem of the vessel, and a weight equal to vne-eii>/ith the full 
power of the engine was fixed to the other end and passed over 
a pulley, the vessel would be drawn faster through the water than 
it could be impelled by the engine moving wheels; — it therefore 
is a great desideratum to obtain an action on the water at once 
convenient in its application, and producing an effect equivalent 
to the moving power, which under such circmnstances might be 
materially reduced. 

Aware of the danger, waste of power, and inefficiency of wheels 
to move vessels deeply immersed at sea, I devi)*ed mnny sub- 
stitutes for them ; but what I give a preference to, is a .sul)aquatic 
lever, simple as the common oar ; hut which, owing to the 
adoption of a novel principle in its construction, possesses far 
greater power on the water; and which, when moved either up 
and down or to and fro therein, will communicate an unceasing 
forward motion to a body. 

I conceive it superior to the common oar: 1st, In power: 
2dly, in being applicable vvith effect to the largest vessels at 
sea: 3dly, in not requiring to be feathered: 4thly, in not losing 
time in rising out of the water. 1 conceive it superior to wheels 
in simplicity, possessing a better and e(|UHlly unceasing action on 
the water, and far more convenient and secure in application, 
while its power of leverage mav be increased almost ad rnft/ti- 
turn. Wheels cannot be multiplied or enlarged with corre- 
sponding effect or convenience; but a simple reciprocating lever, 
such as above described, may; because, like the feather in a wing, 
it will prevent little surface in the line of motion. A bodv wiiolly 
immersed in water is equally pressed and supported throuii,hout, 
and therefore is not so liable to be broken as a wheel po--ited in 
air and water is. I confess I have not as yet had an opportunity 
of trying this new species of lever on a large scale, 1 therefore 
naturally feel diffident in offering it to public notice: but 1 will 
shmv a model of it at work to any scientific gentleman, and ex- 
plain its peculiar properties and application to any person se- 
riously inclined to adopt the use of it. Except in diminishing 
the weight of the steam-engines used in vessels, and dismissing 
the fly wheel, I know of no valuable improvement that has taken 
place in steam-boats since thev came into use. The cimse I ap- 
prehend is, the vast expense of experiments in this line, and the 
very limited knowledge we possess of the laws and |)roperties of 
fluids. The House of Commons (the safety-valves of the purse 
of the nation) has humanely attempted to legislate for steam- 
boats, but hits offered no rewards for their improvement. Since 
then, 1 have heard that the owners of a steam-packet on the 

Vol.50. No.234. OcM817. T Thames 

?90 On the in/etided Exeter Sleam-Boat, 

Thames advertised perfect security to their passengers) under 
the new law) in tlie morning, and kept their word by blowing up 
in the evening, whun only the crew were injured. 

Your correspondent has fairly stated the advantages likely to 
result from his plan of placing tlie wheels of his proposed steam- 
vessel at the stern; — but practically I fear he will find it subject 
so some disadvantages. In the first place, wheels placed at the 
stern will not impel a vessel with equal effect with wheels placed 
on each side. 2dly, Whenever the wind is strong on either 
bow the head of the vessel will not at times obey the helm, with 
the due action of which wheels at the stern are likely to inter- 
fere. 3dJy, If the wind is strong and fair, the pitching of the 
vessel and the roll of the sea aft, will more seriously disturb the 
action of the wheels than if thev were placed at or near midships. 
Presuming that it is intended to use the wheels in ordinary use, 
it would be easy for me to prove the truth of the foregoing ob- 
servation ; — but I wish to be brief, and avoid detail as much as 
possible. My object is not to damp the spirit of enterprise, but 
to direct it as far as the case will admit into a safe and profit- 
able channel ; and if your correspondent is determined to follow 
up his plan of using two wheels at the stern, I would beg leave 
to recommend him a particular construction of wheels, which If 
invented and used many years ago, and which will materially 
assist his purpose and obviate in a great degree the objections I 
have started. The paddles of the wheels I allude to when at rest, 
present their edges in a line with the keel of the vessel; of course 
they expose little surface to the direct action of the wind or sea. 
When made to revolve, a simple l)Ut effectual contrivance obliges 
each paddle as it successively enters the water to gradually pre- 
sent its fnll surface thereto, and consequently to rise out of the 
water on its edge ; each paddle may therefore be considered a 
vertical rotatory feathering oar, free from all shock in entering 
the water, obtaining the full effect therefrom, and rising out 
without any lift thereof. But as the degree of obliquity of each, 
and every paddle, may be varied in. a moment at pleasure; it fol- 
lows, that a vessel may be both ii/ipellf:d and steered by such 
wheels ; and in place of the horizontal rudder, these rotatory 
impelling rudders might be used with advantage in cVery steam- 
boat, either as a substitute for, or in addition to, wheels placed 
at the sides. When so posited, the general arbor, instead of 
projecting as customary three or four feet on each side of the 
vessel, need onlv project half that space; and as there is no lift 
of water, no casing is necessary over them, the mechanism is 
boxed in and secure from all external injury, is not liable to be 
deranged, and works with very little friction. 

A little reflection will show that these rotatory rudders might 


On the Cause of the Changes of Colour in Mineral Came lean. 291 

furnish the means of directuig a steam-vessel to any given point, 
even in opposition to a moderate wind and tide, without the aid 
of a man aboard, for a hmited time : — if therefore such a vessel had 
been fitted up as a fire-ship, the Algerine navy might have been 
destroyed without the loss of a man on our part. 

On some future occasion I mav, perhaps, send vou some ob- 
servations on the subject of towing vessels bv means of steam- 
boats ; On the best forms to give steam-vessels intended for the 
sea; On the utility of a change likewise in the form of sailing- 
vessels; On the practicability of employing steam as a moving 
power aboard vessels without the possibility of an explosion: — but 
for the present I feel I have already trespassed too much on 
your valuable space ; and therefore remain 
Yours, &;c. 

4, George's Plare, D-jblin, JaMES DaWSON. 

>ept. 14, 1817. 

XLVIIl. On the Cause of the Changes of Colour in Mineral 
Cameleon. By M. Chevreul*. 

1. OINCE the time of the illustrious Scheele many important 
facts have been added to the history of manganese; but no per- 
son, to my knowledge, has made any particular inquiry into the 
cause of the changes of colour exhibited by mineral cameleon t. 
I will endeavour in this note to deduce from observations of my 
own, an explanation which, if it is admitted, will be susceptible 
of many new applications. 

2. I must l)egin by stating the properties which Scheele has 
recognised in mineral cameleon. 1 . On the solution of came- 
Iton in water, a deposition of a fine yellow powder takes place, 
aiul the li(|uor passes insensibly to a blue colour. Scheele be- 
lieves that the yellow powder consists chiefly of the oxide of iron ; 
that tlio blue is the true colour of the cameleon, and is only 
changed when iron is iti conjunction. 2. Cameleon mixed in 
water becomes decomposed ; the mixture appears violet, then 
red ; and when tlie red particles combine, the red colour disap- 
])ears aufl the deposit of cameleon presents nothing more than 
the natural colour of the oxide of manganese. .'3. Lastly, the 
same ctfcct takes place when a few drops of acid are added to 
the solution, or when it is exposed for some days to the open 
air : in this last case the alkali unites itself to the carbonic acid 
of the atmosphere. Let us now pass to the facts which. I have 

* From a work on Manganese, by M. Chovroul. 

t Tlio substance so culled is a coinbiiiatioii of potasli «itli an oxiiic of 

T2 3. I 

292 Oil the Came of the Changes 

3. I have prepared the eameleon of which I have made use;f 
by exposing in a crucible of platinum to the action of a red heat 
for twenty minutes, a mixture of a gramme (about a scru|)le) of 
oxide, red-brown, obtained by the calcination of the carbonate 
of pure manganese with eight grammes of potash. The green 
^lass produced by this operation was twelve hours afterwards 
immersed in water. Whatever was the proportion of water em- 
ployed, there was always a large enough quantity of the oxide 
which did not dissolve. I do not think that the whole of the 
oxide has ever been separated by the action of the water ; I be- 
lieve that there is a portion of it, which, after being incorporated 
with the alkali, separates itself from it upon the solidilication of 
the cameleon bv cooling. This last portion appears often under 
the form of little brilliant spangles, similar to the sulphiuet of 

4. When the caineledn dissolved in water passes to blue, it is 
not by depositing from the oxide of iron yellow ; for cameleon 
which has been prepared with the pure oxide of manga- 
nese yields a similar deposit, and the liquid when perfectly 
clear, being evaporated to dryness, leaves a residue, which takes, 
when it is exposed to a red heal, a beautiful green colour, and 
communicates the same to water when immersed in it. Now, if 
the colour of cameleon was naturally blue, it ought to be ob- 
tained of that colour, upon dissolving with potash the oxide 
which has been deprived of its pretended oxide of iron. Either 
then the colour of cameleon is not blue, or the observation jf 
Schcele is not proved. 

i5. When cameleon passes more or less slowly from green to 
red, it presents a series of coloius in the order of the iris ; viz. 
green, blue, violet, indigo, purple, red. Not only cold water, 
but even carbonic acid, carbonate of potash, subcarbonate of 
ammonia, and lastly hot water, when added to cameleon, pro- 
duce these colours. It is observed that the latter even produce 
them with more rapidity than cold water. 

(>. According as it appears to me, the green solution of came- 
leon is the combination of caustic potash with the oxide of man- 
ganese, and the solution which becomes red by cari)onic acid 
(of which alone I at present speak) is a triple combination of 
potash, the oxido of manganese, and carbonic acid. It may be 
also necessary to take account of the water which holds these 
combinations in solution : but the proportion of water does not 
seem to me to have any sensible influence on their coloration ; 
for if we saturate with carbonic gas, a green solution, formed of 
one part of cameleon and ten parts of water, it will pass to red, 
depositing at the same time a little of the oxide ; then on putting 
into this red liquor some dry caustic potash it resumes the green 

colour j 

of Colour in Mineral Cameleon. 293 

tolour; and afterwards, on saturating the alkali added by the 
carbonic gas, the red colour is reproduced, accompanied with a 
deposition of a little of the oxide. In the last place, I have ob- 
served that precipitating by the water of barytes a part of the 
carbonic acid from a red solution of cameleon, changes it into 
green cameleon*. 

7. Cameleons which become blue, violet, indigo, and purple, 
by the action of carbonic acid, appear to me to be mixtures ot 
green and red cameleon. In proportion, accordingly, as we add 
more and more considerable quantities of green canieleon, \ve 
obtain successively purple, indigo, violet, and blue liquids. It is 
easy from this to conceive, how by addhig at intervals to a greeu 
cameleon some small quantities of carbonic acid or carbonate of 
potash, blue, violet, indigo, and purple liquids will be obtained ; 
and again, how the liquids maybe obtained in the inverse series, 
by adding, at intervals, to a red cameleon small quantities of 

8. Let us now endeavour to prove by analysis the nature of 
the intermediate cameleons between green and red. If we filter 
some green cameleon a certain number of times upon a filterf of 
sufficient size, the cameleon will he decomposed into potash, 
which will remain in the water, and into oxide «f manganese of 
a brownish yellow, which will attach itself to the slips of paper, 
in virtue of an affinity analogous to that which occasions the 
combination of cloths with the mordants employed in dyeing. 
A similar decomposition will take place, if we introduce a piece 
of paper into a solution of green cameleon, separated from all 
contact with the air; — the resvtits are the same with red cameleon. 
The chemical action of paper on solutions of cameleon being 
thus demonstrated, the possibility may be conceived of reducing 
by filtration a liquor containing the two cameleons to a simple 
solution of one of them, provided there exists always a difference 
iji the tendency which the oxide of manganese of the green 
combinalion and the carbonated combination have to unite 
with the paper; and so in fact we find the case to be: for if we 
filter hluf, violet, indigo, and purple cameleons, the red cameleon 
is decomposed, while the green cameleon passes to the side of 
the filteT. 

9. The preceding explanation is applicable to changes pro- 

* It is not iKcrs^ary to use ;is mucli of tlie harvtcs as will saturate all the 
fiarlioiiK. acid; for it would precipitate with it a rose-lilac combination of 
t!ie oxule -f n»angine-.e and Ijai vtt-. I'liis combination, whicii is a species 
of can e enn, utwy perhaps be spoiled liv the Mriinnxtiiic of aci'tic acid ol 
carl ouiiie, which there is no doubt exists in compounds of this sort. 

t Wliich oui;ht to be washed with hydrochloric acid, to prevent any 
for^rigti matters from attachipg to the sli|>s of pupcr. 

T .*} duced 

29i On the Cause of the Changes 

duccd by the •oubcarbonate of ammonia and the carbonate of 
potash ; — but ib it equally so to the changes produced by distilled 
water ? I do not think it is, although indeed the purest water 
■uhich I have been able to obtain has always presented some 
t.en„ible quantity of carbonic acid, or of subcarl)onate of ammo- 
liia. Thus much I can affirm, that the intermediary cameleous 
produced by water are invariably formed of green cameleon and 
a red liquor; for all of them become green after being filtered, and 
when potash is added are converted into green cameleons. What 
proves, besides, that the carbonic acid has no influence on the 
colour of the red liquor of these cameleons is, that water which 
hdii been reduced by boiling to a fifth of its volume, and which 
ought to contain less carbonic acid than cold water which has 
not been boiled, being niixed when hot vvith green cameleon, red- 
dens it much more rapidly than cold water : and again, that 
Avhen a little more hydrate of barytes is added to boiling water 
than is necessary to precipitate all the carbonic acid contained 
in the water, if it is afterwards turned into green cameleon, it 
will change to red, ulthougli the curhnic acid has been u'holly 
extracted. Is it not possible that this red colour may be the 
result of an action of the potash upon the oxide less strong than 
that exercised by the same alkali upon the oxide of green came- 
leon ? And is it not also possible, when carbonic acid is present, 
that it may have the effect of weakening the action of the pot- 
ash ? 

10. The oxide of green cameleon possesses without doubt the 
sauiC degree of oxidation as the oxide of red cameleon, and that 
oxide contains more oxygen than that of salts of manganese un- 
coloured ; so that on heating hydrochloric acid with green or 
red cameleon, the former disengages itself from the chlorine, and 
the latter becomes discoloured. iScheele has before remarked, 
that a great number of matters susceptible of absorbing oxygen 
produce the same effect of discoloration as hydrochloric acid. 
But it may be asked, Does the cameleon contain the natural oxide, 
or the oxide which is produced by exposing tiie latter to the ac^ 
lion of fire? If we consider the impossibilicv of uniting the first 
to acids without subjecting it to a previous deoxidation; that ca- 
meleon supersaturated with sulphuric, nitric, and other acids 
forms red salts, in the same manner as the second of the oxides 
referred to ; and further, that carbonic acid reddens green came- 
leon without producing any effervescence, — it would seem to fol- 
low that the oxide of cameleon is less oxidated than the natural 
oxide. I have made several experiments to ascertain the cor- 
rectness of this conclusion. I heated in a stone jar 25 grammes 
of the oxide of native manganese vvith 200 granunes of potash 

a I'alcooli 

of Colour in Mineral Cameleon. 295 

•^ Valcool; I collected from the water a little azote, with car- 
bonic and inflammable acid ; which last md.cated that an alco 
holic matter remained with the alkali. The jar was speeddy 
penetrated bv the potash. 1 repeated the same expenment wuti 
potasl, a la chaux. I did not obtain any mflammable gas ; but 
the jar was penetrated as in the preceding ^^l^^"'"^"^- ., \^^ 
cameleon of the first experiment was green ; but when diluted 
in water it did not yield a permanently coloured dissolution. 
The cameleon of the'second experiment, being put into water, 
did not disengage any remarkable quantity of oxygen ; the liquor 
which it yielded was of a permanent green ; heated by mercury 
without {he contact of the air, it became discoloured without 
presenting any of the colours of the series ; but v/hen carbonic 
acid was added it presented the whole series. In order to pre- 
vent the corrosive action of the potash upon the jar, 1 'n=«le an- 
other experiment, in which I heated 30 gr. of oxide with 2/Ugr. 
of carbonate of potash which had been reduced m a great mea- 
sure by the heat into subcarhonate. The jar was not m this 
instance affected, and the result I obtained was a mixture oi 
about two volumes of carbonic acid and one of oxygen, ine 
cameleon produced was of a greenish blue; put into water, i£ 
precipitated a good deal of the oxide, of which part was mica- 
ceous and part was dissolved, and imparted a green colour .o 
the water : but this solution lost its colour so quickly, and w^s 
besides so slightly charged with oxide, in con.parison to the 
nuantitv which had been heated, that 1 do not regard this ex- 
periment as absolutely conclusive of the supposition, that tr.e 
native oxide of manganese loses oxygen on uniting itselt to po.- 
Rsh—thoui^h it certainly renders it very probable. 

1 1. If the explanation which we have given of the colours ol 
cameleon is exact, is it not probable that some minerals may be 
enamelled with blue, with violet, and with purple, by green ami 
red combinations of manganese? Is it not pn^bable that the 
alkaline substances, earthy or vitreous, which become tingerl 
with red by the oxide of manganese, exercise upon ir il.e same 
action as the acids ? And may not a combination of t us so, t 
along withaereen alkaline combination of the same oxide, form 
mixtures of colours analogous to blue, violet, indigo, and purp t^ 
cameleons ? In short, does there not seem some analogy ar, to 
chemic^d action between the oxide of manganese and certain ve- 
getable colouring principles, which become green by the alKaiie., 
and red by the acids' 



[ 296 ] 

XLIX. On an apparently new Species of IVren, discovered at 
Tunbridge IVells, by Thomas Forster, Esq. F.L.S. 

To Mr. Tillock. 

Sir, — 1 BEG leave to communicate the discovery of what seems 
to me to he a new species of wren, whicli I have of late seen in 
the neighbourhood of Tunbridge Wells. I saw it in the month 
of September and early in the present month, among the trees, 
particularly the firs, pines, and willows. It was about four inches 
and a quarter long, and bore the nearest resemblance in form to 
the smallest willow wren, Sylvia Hippnlais of Latham and 
E. Forster's catalogue. But it differed in colour : the upper parts 
of the whole bodv, head, wings, and tail being of a pure dark 
brown : the under parts silvery white. This may possibly be 
only a variety of the Sylvia Hippnlaii, as birds of this kind vary 
extremely ; but if it be a distinct species, both its form and man- 
ners place it among the Sylvice: and I should propose to call it 
Sylvia brunnea. It nearly answers to the description of a 
bird which Dr. Leach (of the British Museum) calls Curruca, 
of which he has spoken to me as being a new wren. 

We have all the three known species of willow wren at Tun- 
bridge Wells ; and I have observed a considerable variation of 
the plumage in all of them, which has, no doubt, been in part 
the cause of the great confusion found in the descriptions of birds 
of this genus among naturalists. I proceed to enumerate some 
of the most common varieties I have noticed. 

Sylvia SyU'icnla; or the largest willow wren. This, which 
somewhat exceeds the common willow wren in size, is found with 
the follownig varieties : 

a. With the upper parts greyish ; the under parts almost white. 

^. The upper parts yellowish, green mixed with dusky ; and 
the under parts vellow, more or less deep. 

y. Almost yellow like a Canary-bird, there being only a few 
dusky specks on the wings, and dusky quills. I have seen this 
variety in the garden of Mrs. Forster, of Walthamstow, on the 
spruce fir-tree. 

Sylvia Trochilus, the middle willow wren, varies as fol- 
lows : 

a Greenish ash-colour above, and white with a tinge of yel- 
low beneath. 

(5. Greenish olive, mixed with yellow above, and deep yellow 
on all the under parts. This seems to be the first-year's bird ; 
and the plumage changes afterwards. 

Sylvia Hippolais, the least willow wren. This varies only in 


Notices respecting Neiu Books. 297 

the lighter or darker shades of its plumage, and has less yellow in 
it than any other species. I have purposely given only the osten- 
sible varieties of these birds, which may be seen when the bird 
is on the trees. — The new wren may perhaps become the subject 
of future observations of a more detailed and accurate nature. 

1 am, &;c. 
WaI»liamstow, Oct. 16, 1817. ThomAS ForSTER. 

L. Notices respecting New Books. 

An "Experimental Inquiry into the Lous of the Vital Functions ; 
with some Observations on the Nature and Treatment of In- 
ternal Diseases . By A. P. Wilson Philip, M.D. F.R.S.E. 

[Continued from p. 228.] 

X HE spasmodic asthma is fortunately a very rare disease ; so 
much so, that but one case of it has occurred to me since I have 
employed galvanism in asthma, while I have had an opportunity 
of employing this remedy in about forty cases of the habitual 
form of the disease. I cannot therefore, from experience, speak 
with certainty of the effect of galvanism in the former. In the 
above case it was twice employed in the paroxysm, and I could 
observe no relief from it. In both instances the patient said 
that, had it )iot been used, the symptoms would have been more 
severe. In this patient, the spasmodic paroxysm was often suc- 
ceeded by a state of habitual asthma for several weeks, in which 
galvanism gave immediate, but temporary relief. 

" Of the above cases of habitual asthma, many occurred in 
work-|)eople of the town where 1 reside, who had been obliged 
to abandon their employments in consequence of it, and some 
of them, from its hnig continuance, without any hope of return- 
ir.g to regular work. Most of them had tried the usual means 
in vain. By the use of galvanism they were relieved in different 
degrees, but all sufficiently to be restored to their employments. 
I have seen several of them lately, who, although they have not 
used the galvanism for some months, said they had continued to 
work without any inconvenience. Some, in whon» the disease 
had been wholly removed, remain rpnte free from it ; some have 
had a return of it, and have derived the same advantage from 
the galvanism as at first. 

" I have confined the application of galvanism to asthmatic 
dyspnoea. I tliink there is reason to believe, from the experi- 
ments which have been laid before the reader, that in inflamma- 
tory cases it would be injurious, and, in cases arising from dropsv, 


■29^8 Notices respecting New Books. 

or any other mechanical impediment, little or nothing, it h 
evident, is to be expected from it. Habitual asthma is often 
attended with a languid state of the biliary system, and some 
fullness and tenderness on pressure near the pit of the stomach. 
If the last is considerable, it must be relieved previous to the 
use of the j^alvanisni. In a paper which the Medico-Chirurgical 
Society did me the honour to publish in the seventh volume of 
their Transactions, I have endeavoured to show that a species 
of pulmonary consumption arises from a disease of the digestive 
organs. Many of the observations there made apply to certain 
cases of asthma* ; I believe to cases of every species of this dis- 
ease, but particularly of that we are here considering. Many 
cases of habitual asthma will yield to the means recommended 
in the above paper ; but I have learned, from a pretty extensive 
experience, that a large majority of such cases will resist them, 
vet readily admit of relief from galvanism. If there is little ten- 
dency to inflammation, galvanism seems also to be a means of 
relieving the affection of the digestive organs. I have repeatedly 
seen from it the same effect on the biliary system which arises 
from calomel ; a copious bilious discharge from the bowels conn- 
ing on within a few hours after its employment. Tins seldom 
happens except where there appears to have been a failure in 
the secreting power of the liver, or a defective action in the gall 

" I have not found that the presence even of a severe cough, 
which is common in habitual asthma, in which there is always 
more or less cough, couuter-indicutes the use of galvanism. The 
cough under its use generally i)econies less frequent in pr<)pf)rtion 
as the accumulation of phlegm in the lungs is prevented ; but it 
seen:)s to have no direct effect in allaying it. In some cases the 
cough continued troublesome after the dyspnoea had disappeared. 
Galvanism never appeared to increase it, except when the in- 
flammatory diathesis was considerable. In snne labouring un- 
der the most chronic forms of phthisis, in whom the symptoms 
had lasted several years and habitual asthma had supervened, 
the relief obtained from galvanism was very great, notwith- 
standing some admixture of a pus-like substance in what was 
expectorated. I need hardiv add, after what has been said, that 
in ordinary cases of phthisis nothing could be more improper than 
the use of galvanisuj. The dyspnoea arising from phthisis and 
that from habitual asthma are easily distinguished. The former 
is less variable. It is generally increased by the exacerbations 
of the fever, and always by exercise. When the patient is still 
and cool, except in the last stages of phthisis, his breathing is 

* See tlie observations on the state of these organs in asthma, in Dr. 
Brce's work on this disease, 


Notices respectirig New Booh. 299 

jj^erally pretty easy. The latter is worst at particular times of 
the dav, and frequently becomes better aud worse wi'liout auy 
evident cause. At the times when it is better the patient can 
often use exercise without materially increasing it. Changes 
of the weather influence it much. It is particularly apt to be 
increased by close and foggy weather. Phthisical dyspnoea is 
seldom much influenced by changes of the weather, except they 
increase the inflammatory tendency. 

'•' When there is a considerable tendency to inflammation in 
habitual asthma, the repeated application of galvanism some- 
rimes increases it so much, that the use of this influence no 
longer gives relief, till the inflammatory tendency is subdued by 
local blood-letting. It always gave relief most readily, and the 
relief was generally most permanent in those cases which were 
least complicated with other diseases, the chief complaint being 
a sense of tightness across the region of the stomach, impeding 
the breathing. The patients said, that the sense of tightness 
gradually abated while they were under the influence of the gal- 
vanism, and that as this happened their breathing became free. 
The abatement of the tightness was often attended with a sense 
of warmth in the stomach, which seemed to come in its place. 
This sensation was most frequently felt when the negative wire 
was applied near the pit of the stomach, but the relief did not 
seem less when it v/as not felt. 

" With respect to the continuance of the relief obtained by 
galvanism, it was different in different cases ; in the most severe 
cases it did not last so long as in those w here the symptoms were 
slighter, though of cciual continuance. This observation, how- 
ever, did not universally apply. When the patient was gal- 
vanised in the morning, he generally fell its gr.od effects more or 
less till next morning. In almost all, the repetition of the gal- 
vanism gradually increased the degree of perm.anenl relief. It* 
increase" was miich more rapid in some cases than in others. The 
permanency of the good effects of galvanism in the disease be- 
fore us, has appeared very remarkably in several cases where the 
symptoms, after having been removed by it, were renewed alter 
intervals of different duration l;y cold or other causes. In these 
cases means which, previous to the use of galvanism, had failed 
to give relief, were now successful without its aid ; or with few 
applications of it, compared with those which had been neces- 
sary in the first instance. I have not yet seen any case, in which 
galvanism had ijcen of considerable advantage, where its good 
effects appeared to have been wholly lost. It is now about a 
year and a half since I first employed it in habitual asthma, 
'raking cold and the excessive use of lormcntcd liquovs have been 
tiie orincipal causes of rclause. 


300 Notices respeciitig New Books. 

" The galvanism was seldom used more than once a day. In 
some of the more severe cases it was used morning and evening. 
About a sixth part of those who have used it appear, as far as 
we yet know, to have obtained a radical cure. It in no case 
failed to give more or less relief, provided there was little inflam- 
matory tendency. It failed to give considerable relief only in 
about one-tenth ; I may add, that were it only the means of 
present relief, we have reason to believe that, as being more in- 
nocent, it would be found preferable to the heating, spirituous, 
and soporific, medicines, which are so constantly employed iu 
this disease. 

" As it often happened that a very small Galvanic power, that 
of not more than from four to sis four-inch double plates, re- 
lieved the dyspnoea, may we not hope, that a Galvanic apparatus 
jnav be constructed, which can be worn by the patient, of sufti- 
cient power to prevent its recurrence in some of the cases in 
which the occasional use of the remedy does not produce a ra- 
dical cure ? 

" 1 wished to try if the impression on the mind, in the em- 
ployment of galvanism, has any share in the relief obtained from 
it. 1 had not at this time seen its effects in apoplexy. I found 
that by scratching the skin with the siiarp end of a wire, I could 
produce a sensation so similar to that excited by galvanism, that 
those who had most frequently been subjected to this influence 
were deceived by it. By this metliod, and arrangit)g the trough, 
pieces of metal, iSjc. as usual, 1 deceived several who had formerly 
received relief from galvanism, and also several who had not 
\et used it. All of them said that they experienced np- relief 
from what I did. Without allowing them to rise, 1 substituted 
for this process the real application of galvanism, merely by im- 
mersing in the trough one end of the wire with which 1 had 
scratched the nape of the neck, the wire at the pit of the stomach 
having been all the time applied as usual by the patients them- 
selves. Before the application of the galvanism had been con- 
tinued as long as the previous process, they all sumI they were 
relieved. I relate the particulars of the two following experi- 
ments, because, independently of the principal object in view in 
making them, they point out two circumstances of importance 
in judging of the modus operandi of galvanism in asthmatic 

" The first was made on an unusually intelligent lady, of about 
thirty-five years of age, who had for many years laboured under 
habitual asthma, than whom I have known none more capable 
of giving a distinct account of their feelings. Her breathing was 
very much oppressed at the time that she first used galvanism. 
The immediate effect was, that she breathed with ease. She 


Notices respccihi^ New Books. 801 

Said site had not lueathed so well for .iiany years. Part of th« 
relief she obtained proved perniaiient, and when she was gal- 
vanised once a day for ah. ait ten minutes, slie sutfered little 
dyspnoea at any time. After she had been galvanised for eight 
or ten days, I deceived her in liie manner just mentioned. The 
deception was complete. She told me to increase or lessen the 
force of the galvanism, as she was accustomed to do, according 
to the sensation it produced. I obeyed her diiections by in- 
creasing or lessening the force with which I scratclicd the neck 
with the wire. After I had done this for hve minutes, she said 
the galvanism difl not relieve her as usual, and that she felt the 
state of her breathing the same as when the operation was be- 
gun. I then allowed the galvauisui to pass through the chest, 
but onlv through the upper part of it, the wire in front being 
applied about the middle of the sternum. She soon said that 
she felt a little relief; but although it was continued in this way 
for ten minutes, the relief was imperfect. I then directed her 
to appiv the wire in front to the pit of the stomach, so that the 
galvanism passed through the whole extent of the chest, and in a 
minute and a half she said her breathing was easy, and that she 
now experienced the wiiole of the effect of the former applica- 
tions of the remedy. 

" To try how far the effect of galvanism in asthma arises 
merely from its stimulating the spinal marrow, in a young wo- 
man who had been several times galvanised in the usual way, 
the wires weie applied to the nape of the neck and small of th^ 
back,.imd thus the galvanic influence was sent along the spine for 
nearly a quarter of an hour. She said her breathing was easier, 
but not so much so as on the former applications of the gal- 
vanism ; and on atteui))ting to walk up stairs she began to pant, 
and found her breathing, when she had gone about half way, as 
difficult as before the galvanism was applied. She was then 
galvanised in the usual way for five minutes : she now said her 
breathing was quite easy, and she walked up the whole of the 
stairs without bringing on any degree of panting, or feeling any 
dyspnoea. The above experiment was made in the presence of 
four iredical gentlemen. This patient, after remaining free from 
her disease about half a year, returned to the Infirmary, labour- 
ing under a slighter degree of it, and experienced immediate re- 
lief from galvanism. The disease seemed to have been renewed 
by cold, which had at the same time jjroduced other complaints. 
This is one of the cases al.ove alluded to in speaking of tiie per- 
manency of the good effects of galvanism. On the return of 
this patient to the Infirmary, two or three a|)plications of gal- 
vanism, combined with means wliich had given no permanent 
relief to the dyspuuea previous to her first using galvanism, now 


■^62 Notices respecting New Books. 

soon removed it. Whenshe first used galvai)isni, it required it>« 
constant emplovmciil once or twice a-day for several weeks to 
produce the t-ame eficct. There is reason to believe she will re- 
n^ain well if she can avoid taking severe colds. 

" Manv medical e;entlenien have frequently witnessed the re- 
lief afforded l)v galvanism in iiabitual asthma, and Mr. Cole, the 
house-surgeon of the Worcester Infirmary, autliorises me to say, 
that no other means there employed have been equally efficacious 
in relieving this disease. 

" Olwervations similar to the foregoing, there is reason to be- 
lieve, will be found to apply to dvspepsia ; but as 1 have made 
but few trials of galvanism in this disease, except where it was 
complicated with asthma, the removal of which no doubt con- 
tributed to a more healthy action of the digestive organs, I can- 
not vet speak with certainty of its effects in this disease. In 
some, galvanism, at the time of its application, occasions a ten- 
dency to sighing ; and in some, in whom it removed the dys- 
pnoea, it seemed to occasion a sense of sinking referred to the pit 
of the stomach. This occurred in several instances, and was re- 
lieved bv sm;ill doses of carbonate of iron and bitters. 

" That I mav convcv to the reader as correct an idea as I can 
cf the effects of galvanism in habitual asthma, I shall concisely 
relate the particulars of a few of the most, and of the least, suc- 
cessful cases, in which it was employed. 

** Richard iMorgan, a blacksmith, aet. 50, had laboured under 
severe habitual asthma for seven months, during which he had 
been better and worse for a few weeks, but never free from dys- 
pnoea. He was much troubled with a cough, the expectorated 
matter being thick, and of a yellowi&h colour. The dyspnoea was 
particularly severe at the lime he was galvanised, and had been 
so for about a fortnight. The first application of the galvanism 
relieved him. He was galvanised only for three days, about ten 
i.iinutes each (lav, before !ie declared himself to be perfectly well. 
Me returned to bis work, 'vhich he had been obliged to aban- 
don, after the secoTid application of the galvanism. After its 
third application he performed as hard work, and with as much 
ease, as he had ever done. 

" He remained free from dvspnoea till it was renewed, several 
weeks afterwards, by his getting drunk. Galvanism relieved him 
;,s readily and efrectually as at first. It is now ten months since 
jie first used this remedy, during which he has had several re- 
turns of dyspnoea, but it has never been 3o severe as before he was 
galvanised ; and when it has been such as to induce him to have 
recourse to galvanism, he has always experienced from it imme- 
diate relief. He ascribes ti)e returns of his disease to his being 
exposed to severe and rvdden heats and chills. 

" Marv 

Notices respecting New Books. 303 

" Mary M'Konchy, aet. 28, a gloveress, had been afflicted with 
habitual asthma for' four years, and under my care about one 
year, during wliich she had tried all the usual means with very 
imperfect relief, she had some languor in the biliary system, but 
little infliimmatory tendency. The breathing was, in a few mi- 
nutes, rendered easy by galvanism, and after the second applica- 
tion of it, it remained so. She now experienced no inconve- 
nience from exercise, which had not at any time been the case 
for four vears. 

" In about three weeks after she had been galvanised she ex- 
perienced some return of the dyspnoea. It was wholly removed 
by a blister, which had often been tried, previous to her being 
galvanised, with but little and very temporary relief. She com- 
plained of a sense of sinking at the stomach for some time after 
the use of the galvanism, which w;is removed by carbonate of 
iron and bitters. This effect of galvanism seemed often to be 
most felt when it gave most relief to the dyspnoea, seeming to 
come in place of the latter. I have hitherto found it easily re- 
moved by the above means. It is now many nmnths since this 
patient was galvanised, and she remains well. 

" Hannah Cooke, set. 20, a servant, had laboured under ha- 
bitual asthma for two months, and tried various medicines with- 
out relief. She was in a few minutes relieved by galvanism, and 
after three applications of it remained quite well. It is novv^ five 
or six weeks since she was galvanised. 

" 1 could mention several other |cases, in which I witnessed 
the same sudden and permanent relief from galvanism, as in 
those here related. 

" Isaac Radley, at. 68, a labourer, formerly a soldier, had 
been ill fourteen years. His asthma was caused by sleeping in 
camp in Holland. He had never been able, during the above 
time, to walk at the usual pace without bringing on the dyspnosa, 
aIthou>!.li he Iiad sometimes been pretty free from it wlien he 
was still ; at other times he had been constantly oppressed with 
it, and obliged wholly to abandon his work. At the time he 
used the galviini'^m, he was affected with the most severe dys- 
pnoea, which only allowed him to move, and that with difficulty, 
at the slowest pace; he had ijeen in this state for half a year. 
This was the longest and most severe fit he had ever had. He 
was relieved in a few mimites by the application of galvanism. 
He could perceive its i)enefi(ial effects for twenty-four hours af- 
ter its application. It was us.-d daily with the same immediate 
relief, its permanent good effects gradually increased, and alter 
he had been galvanised for about ten minutes each day, h)r be- 
tween two and three weeks, his breathing rcmaincfi (|uite easy. 
He could now not only walk, but, as I several times witnessed, 


304 Notices respecting New Books. 

run without any ilyspnoea. He complained of tbe sens;? of 
sinking at the pit of the stomach after tiie dyspnoea had left him, 
which, a-j in tlie case just mentioned, was readily removed by 
the carbonate of iron and hitters. He now said his digestion 
was much better than it had been previously to the use of the 
galvanism. Those whose breathing had been much relieved by 
galvanism, often made this observation, although they had not 
experienced the sense of sinking, and consequently had used ik> 
stomachic medicines. 

** I saw this man, several months after he had ceased to use 
galvanism, working as a brick-layer's labourer. He said he had 
no feeling of dyspnoea, and had been quite free from it since he 
had used the galvaiiism. 

** In general, where galvanism gave such complete and per- 
manent relief, as in Uadlev's case, its effects were more speedy, 
some degree of dyspnoea for the most part remaining in pro- 
tracted cases. 

'* The following are the most unsuccessful cases, which either 
Mr. Cole or 1 could recollect. 

" Martha Davies, a servant, tet. 40, had laboured under ha- 
bitual asthma for five years. She was relieved on the first appli- 
cation of galvanism, and said her breatliing was quite easy; but 
she was not always equally relieved by it, sometimes it gave 
comparatively little relief. The more permanent relief afforded, 
was also different at different times, never complete. She was 
galvanised for about three weeks, but not daiU , her business pre- 
venting her regular attendance ; she used the remedy in all about 
thirteen or fourteen times. It was impossible to prevent her 
drinking a great deal too much malt liquor. 

" It is now about half a year since she was galvanised, during 
which she says both her breathing and digestion have been bet- 
ter than for the precedino- five vears. She thinks the digestion 
as much improved as the breathing. She has had no verv bad 
attacks of dy^;)ncea, and has been much less subject to bilious 
attacks. She is now occasionally so well that she can run with- 
out inconvenience, which she could never do during the above 
time, but, in general, her breathing, tliough in a less degree 
tlian formerly, is still op|)ressed. 

" Mary Clark, a servant, Kt. 24, had laboured under habitual 
asthma for about a year. The dyspnoea was abvays quickly re- 
Jieved by the galvanism, although she seemed to experience lit- " 
tie, if any, permanent relief from it. She had more pain in the 
stomach than is usual in such cases, and the galvanism seemed 
to increase it. She was cured by an alterative course of medi- 
cines and evacuations from the region of the stomach, and did 
not use galvanism for the last fortnight. She had used it at 


Notices respecting New Bonks. 305 

first daily for a fortnight, and twice ■ afterwards for a week each 
time. • 

" As far as I can judge from having observed the course of 
many cases "of this kind, her recovery would neither have been 
so speedy nor complete if she had not used galvanism. 

" Rachel Hooper, aet. 29, a servant, had laboured under se- 
vere habitual asthma for about a year, with considerable inflam- 
matory tendency. Her breathing was relieved in a few minutes 
by galvanism, but not completely. For about eight or ten days, 
during which she was galvanised daily for about ten minutes, 
she derived from it considerable iclief, both immediate and per- 
manent. It then began to fail to give relief, and in a few days 
gave none. The epigastric region was now very tender on pres- 
sure. This symptom was relieved in the space of a few days by 
local blood-letting, blistering, and small does of calomel. The 
relief afforded by the galvanism was now greater than at first, 
\vhich seemed to arise from the disease not being so severe as 
on the first use of the remedy, for some part of the good effects 
of the galvanism had remained. After this she was always re- 
lieved by it as long as she continued to use it, which was for se- 
veral weeks. The permanent relief she experienced from it was 
also great, although she still at times laboured under a consider- 
able degree of dvspnrea. About half a year ago, she left Wor- 
cester with a pj-omise to return, if she should get worse. I have 
heard nothing of her since. 

" She said nothing else had given her so much, either imme- 
diate or permanent relief, as the galvanism had done. She had 
been for several months in the Infirmary under other plans of 
treatment before she used the galvanism. All the patients whose 
cases I have mentioned were galvanised at the Infirmary. 
. " The following is a remarkable instance of permanent, though 
imperfect relief from galvanism, in the disease before us. A 
woman who had for manv years laboured under severe habitual 
*sthma was incautiously galvanised with such a power as occa- 
.sioned severe pain. No entreaty could induce her to submit to 
a repetition of the galvanism, although it had immediately re- 
heved her breathing. The dyspnoea soon recurred, but she told 
me many months afterwards that it had never been so seven; 
since she was galvanised, and that she had ever since been able 
to carry water in buckets from tlie river, which the state of her 
breathing had not for a long time previously allowed her to do. 

" If the reader will compare these cases with the general ob- 
servc^tions which I have had occasion to make on the effects of 
galvanism in habitual asthma, he will be enabled to form a pretty 
correct estimate of what he may expect from it in this disease. 

" When we compare them with the experiments laid before 

the reader in the preceding Inquiry, the question naturally arises, 

VqI. 50. No. 234. Oct. IS17. ' U VVhence 

306 Koikes respecting New Boohs. 

Whence proceeds the permanent relief obtained in them? The 
galvanic experiments lead us to expect relief to the dvspncea 
while the stream of i^alvanism passes through the lungs ; but on 
what principle sh:vll we explain the permanency of the relief af- 
forded ? The following observations a])pear to throw some light 
on this subject. There are two wavs in which an organ mav be 
deprived of its nervous influence, either by a failure of ihie action 
in the brain and spinal marrow, tb.e sources of nervous intJuencej 
or a failure of due action in the nerves of the organ affected by 
which this influence is conveyed. It is no longer canve\ed by a 
nerve vvliich has been divided, or around ivhich a ligature has 
been thrown. Now we have reason to believe that habitual 
asthma arises not so much from a fault in the brain and spinal 
marrow, as in the nerves of the lungs ; because, did the degree 
of dyspnoea, which we often witness in this disease, arise from 
failure in the general source of nervous influence, this failure 
must be sufficient to appear in the derangement of ad the nervous 
functions; whereas in ha!)itnal asthma, we often find tlie func- 
tion of the Inngs aloi^.e affected ; and when general failure of 
nervous influence is observed, it is evidently tlie effect of im- 
peded respiration, appearing only after the latter has continued 
for some time, and varying as it varies. The effect produced by 
galvanism, when it performs a cure in haljitual asthma, therefore, 
does not appear to be its having occasioned a permanent supply 
of nervous influence, but its having cleared, if I may use the ex- 
pression, the passage of this influence to the lungs. It is not 
difficult to conceive that such an obstruction may exist in the 
nerves as cannot be overcome by the usual sujjply of nervous in- 
fluence, though it may yield to a greatly increased supply of it ; 
and that it may in some cases contiimally rei-ur in an equal or 
diminished degree, while in others, being once removed, the ten- 
dency to it may cease*. 

" The foregoing observations seem to explain why other means 
which give a temporary vigour to the nervous system, often, for 
the time, relieve habitual asthma ; and sometimes, though rarely, 
cure this disease. The relief obtained from such means being in 
general so much less than that obtained from galvanism, 1 would 
ascribe to the former occasioning but little additional supply of 
nervous influence, while by the latter we can make the additional 
supply as great as we please.'' 

* " What is here said is well illustrated bv the c flVrts of iialvanism in 
apoplexy. We know that in this disease the dyspiicea .irises from a- failure 
ill the source of nervous influence, ai.d the relief oltamed fi-oui si;dvanisni 
corresponds vvit'i the views iirtordcd by the expc riiucnts which have been 
]a:d before the reader. While the ijalvanisn) passed through tl-.e lungs the 
(lyspnaa was as much relieved as in habitual asthma, but when it ceased 
to pass through ihcin, the relief lasted no longer than was necessary for the 
reaccuuiulation of the phlegm.'' 


Triumph of Science. 307 

Early in November will be published, by Thomas Jones, opti- 
cian, No. 62, Charing Cross, The late Mr. Ferguson's Astro- 
nomical rianispliere, sliowing the day of the month, change and 
age of the moon, the ])!aces of the sun and moon, and stars of 
the first, second and third magnitude. Likewise his Astronomi- 
cal Rotnla, showing the chniige and age of t!ie moon, the motion 
of the sun, moon, an'l nodes, with all the solar and lunar eclipses 
from the year 1S17 to 1864, with descriptions of their uses. — 
The calculations continued by the Rev. Mr. L. Evans, of the 
Roy. Mil. Acad. 

The price of the Planisphere, consisting of three plates with 
a circular motion, on pasteboard will be eight shillings; and in 
boards about thirteen inches square, as a book ten shillings. The 
Rotnla consisting of five plates, eight shillings plain, and ten 
shillings in boards. Tiie same size as the Planisphere. 

Mr. Thomas Forster has just published "^Observations on the 
Phaenomcnaand Treatment of Insanity,&c." being supplementary 
to his Observations on periodical Diseases and on the Periods cf 
Insanity. ■ 

The manuscripts of the late Mr. Spence of Greenock were 
some time ago submitted to Mr. Herschel, who has selected the 
most complete for publication. It will gratify the students of 
pure matiiematics to understand, that the volume now preparing, 
and whicii will be published in the course of the sprinr, by Messrs. 
T. and G. Underwood, contains, l)esides the ingenious Essay onLo- 
garithmic Transcendents, unpublished tracts in the same class of 
the science, eciually new and elegant. A bivOgraphical sketch of 
the author by his friend Mr. Gait will be prefixed to the volume. 

LI. Intelligence and Miscellaneous Articles. 


J. HE subjoined deci<led and honourable testimony given to the 
originality and utility of Sir Humphry Davy's discovery of the 
6afety-!ai!i]) for miners, deserves to have a more durable record 
than the ephemeral cohnmis of a newspaper, and T;ur readers, we 
are surc^ will therefore thank us for givhig it a place in our pages. 

The coal-owners of the rivers Tyne and Wear, the body 
most extensively benefited by*Sir Humphry Davy's safctv-lamps 
for preventing explosions in coal-mines, have shown their sense 
of the iini)ortauce of the discovery to their interests, and those 
ofhumaiiity, l)y presenting Sir Humphry with a very liandsome 
service of plate, of the value of nearly two thousand pounds. 
The ceremony of the presentation of it took place on Saturday, 
October the 1 1th, when a grand dinner was given to Sir Humphry 
U 2 by 

308 Triumph of Science. 

by the Coal Proprietors and Owners at the Queen's Head at New- 
castle, wliere the plate was exposed for public inspection, and the 
designs, taste, and execution, equally admired. J. G. Lambton, 
esq. M.P. for the county of Durham, was in the chair. There 
were present : The Mayor, Sheriff, and Town Clerk of New- 
castle; the Rev. Dr. (3ray; J. CoUinson, and J.Hodgson; 
Messrs. Warren, Lamb, Baker, Lorraine, Buddie, Ellison, Botts, 
Brown, Mowbray, Robinson, and about fifty other gentlemen. 

After the King and the Prince Regent, the Queen and Royal 
Family, had been drank, Mr. Lambton rose, and presented the 
service of plate to Sir Humphry Davy, and addressed him nearly 
in these, terms, with great strength of feeling : 

" Sir Humphry — It is now my duty to fulfil the object of this 
meeting, in presenting to you this service of plate, from the coal- 
owners of the Tyne and Wear, as a testimony of their gratitude 
for the services you have rendered to them and to humanity. 
Your brilliant genius, which has been so long employed in ex- 
tending, in an unparalleled manner, the boundaries of chemical 
knowledge, never accomplished a better object, nor obtained a 
nobler triumph. You had to contend with an element of de- 
struction, which seemed uncontrollable by human power, which 
not only rendered the property of the coal-owner insecure, but 
kept him in perpetual alarm with respect to the safety of the 
miner, and often exhibited to him scenes of death and heart- 
rending misery. You have increased the value of an important 
branch of productive industry; and, what is of infinitely greater 
importance, you have contributed to the preservation of the lives 
and persons of multitudes of \o\\v fellow-creatures. It is now 
nearly two years that your safety- lamp has been used by hun- 
dreds of miners, in the most dangerous situations, and under the 
most trying circunistances, Not a single failure has occurred ; 
its absolute security is demonstrated. I have, indeed, deeply to 
lament more than one catastrophe produced by fool-harciineiis 
and ignorance in neglecting to use it, but even these dreadful ac- 
cidents, if possible, exalt its importance. If your fame had 
needed any thing to make it immortal, this discovery alone would 
have carried it down to future ages, connected with benefits and 
blessings. Receive, Sir Humphry, this permanent memorial of 
our profound respect and high admiration — a testimony, we trust, 
equally honourable lo you and to us. We hope you will have as 
much pleasure in receiving, as we have in offering it; long may 
you live to use it ; long may )ou live to pursue your splendid 
career of scientific discovery, and to give new claims to the gra- 
titude and praise of the world!" 

Sir Humphry Davy having received the plate, spoke nearly in 
the following words: 

** Cfeutlenicn — I find it impossible to reply in an appropriate 


Triumph of Science 509 

banner to the very elociuent and flattering address of your distin- 
guislied chairman. Eloquence, or even accuracy of language, is 
incompatible with strong feeling, and, On an occasion like the 
present, you will give nie credit for no small degree of emotion. 
" I have been informed, that my labours have been useful to 
an important branch of human industry, connected with our arts, 
our manufactures, commerce, and national wealth. To learn 
this from such practical authority, is a high gratification to a 
person whose ardent desire has always been to apply science to 
purposes of utility. It has also been stated, that the invention, 
which you are this day so highly honouring, has been subservient 
to tlie preservation of the lives and persons of a most useful and -. 
laborious class of men : this coming from your own knowledge, 
founded upon such ample experience, affords me a pVasure still 
more exalted — for the highest ambition of my life has i)een to 
deserve the name of a friend to humanity. To crown all, you 
have as it were embodied these sentiments in a permanent and 
magnificent memorial of your good opinion. 1 can make only 
imperfect and inadequate efforts to thank you. Under all cir- 
cumstances of my future hfe, the recollection of this day will 
warm my heart; and this noble expression of your kindness vvil 
awaken mv gratitude to the last moment of my existence.' 

Mr. Lambton's speech, and Sir Humphry's reply, were re- 
ceived with loud acclamations ; as was likewise Sir Humphry 
Davy's health, which Mr. Lambton gave with three times three, 
and introduced in another eloquent speech, still further extolling 
the merits of the lamp, and the disinterested manner iii which 
it had been presented to the public. 

Sir H. Davy, in reply, said, that he was overpowered by gra- 
titude, by these reiterated proofs of their approbation — that his 
merits w'ere far overrated— that his success in their cause was 
owing to his following the path of experiment, discovered by 
philosophers who had preceded him — that he would willingly 
divide their plaudits with other men of science, and claim tnuch 
for the general glory of scientific discovery in a long course of 
ac;es. He referred to the great increase of wealth and power to 
the country, within the last fifty years, by scientific inventions, 
which could not have existed without coal-mines ; the itnprove- 
meiit in tlie potteries, the steam-engine, and the discovery of 
gas lights. In referring to the steam-engine, he said," What an 
immense impulse has this machine given to arts and manufac- 
tures ! how much has it diminished labour, and increased the 
real strength of the country, far beyond a mere increase of popu- 
lation 1 By giving facilities to a number of other inventions, it 
had even a moral effect in rendering capital necessary for the 
perfection of labour, credit essential to capital, and ingenuity 
and mental energy a secure and dignified species of property. 

\j 3 Science 

b\0 ' Triumph of Science, 

Science was of infinitely more importance than could at first view' 
be supposied to tlie state, for no source of wealth or power was 
entirely independent of it : and no class of men were so well able 
to appreciate its advantages as the gentlemen whom he had the 
honour of addressing; for they net only derived from it the means 
of raisinq; their subterraneous wealth, but likewise those of ren- 
dering it useful to the public. In various manner it was science 
that had made pit-coal such an instrument in the hands of the 
chemist and mechanic, so as to make the elements fire and water 
perform operations which formerly demanded human laiioar; and 
to convert the prodnctions of the earth into a thousand new 
forms of beauty and use. Sir H. Davy said, that it was in pur- 
suing those metliods of analogy and experiment by which the 
mystery had become a science, that he had discovered the safety- 
lamp — that lie had registered the whole progress of his researches 
in the Transactions of the Roval Societv, in papers which that 
illustrious body had honoured by their biennial meda), and that 
in those papers he had acknowledged tlie slightest hints, or of- 
fers of assistance, that he had received. — He stated this, not 
from vain glory, but on account of certain calumnious insinua- 
tions which had arisen, not in the scientific world, for to that 
the whole progress of his scientific researches was well known, 
.but in a colliery. He must ever treat these insinuations with 
contempt ; and, after the indignation which had been expressed 
against them bv the coal-owners in general, he could not ha\-e 
any anxiety on the subject, nor should he have referred to it at all, 
but that he had every reason to believe that the persons amongst 
whom these insinuations originated v/ere extensively benefited 
by, and were constantly using, his invention. And that it was 
far from his expectation that such persons would have employed 
their respectable connexions in mean attempts to impeach the 
originality of a discovery which was given to them in a disinter- 
ested manner, and for which no return was required, but an 
honest acknowledgement of the benefit, founded upon truth and 
justice. " I (said Sir H. D.) do not envy them their feelings, 
particularly at the present moment. 1 do not wish to inquire 
into their motives ; I hope, however, that their conduct has been 
prompted by ignorance rather than malevolence, by n)isappre- 
hension rather than ingratitude. It v.'as a nev/ circumstance to 
me, that attempts to preserve human life, and prevent human 
misery, sl.ould create hostile feelings in persons who professed to 
have similar objects in view. 1 have had some op]->osition, much 
labour, and more anxiety during the course of these researches; 
but had the opposition, the labour, and the anxiety been a thou- 
sand times as great, the events of this day would have been more 
than a compensation," — {Great plaudits) . Sir Himiphry, in 
drinking the health of the company, oifcied as a sentiment— 
" Prosperity to the Coal Trade." The 

Triumph of Science. 311 

The Chairman proposed the health of the Duke of Northum- 
berhmd, the Lord Lieutenant of the county. 

TheiNLinager of his Grace's coal concerns returned thanks, and 
read an extract of a letter from the Duke, expressing his admi- 
ration of the ohject of the meeting, and his conviction of the 
great benefit that had resulted to science, and humanity in ge- 
neral, and the coal trade in particular, from Sir H. Davy's dis- 

Mr. Lambton gave the health of the Mavor of Newcastle, v^'ho 
returned thanks, and gave the health of the Chairman, which v;as 
drank with three times three, and great plaudits, 

Mr. Lambton, after returning thanks, again alluding to the 
object of the meeting, stated his own desire upon all occasions 
to promote, to his best endeavours, the interest of the coal-trade. 

The health of the Bishop of Durham was drank. The Rev. 
Mr. CoUinson, his representative on this occason, said that no- 
thing but the age and infirmity of the venerable Bishop pre- 
vented hi;n from being present; that no one u-as more deeply in- 
terested in the object of their meeting. Mr. Collinson said, that 
whatever gratification Sir H. Davy received from the enthusiasm 
with which his invention was received by men so well able to ap- 
preciate it, yet that it must be infinitely more gratifying to him 
to know, that men now living, and their remotest posterity, 
would be indebted to him for their safety ; and that he was an 
instrument in the hands of Providence, not only for protecting 
human life, but for preserving human happiness. 

Mr. Lambton gave " Mr. Buddie, and the Viewers of New- 
castle," stating, that the coal-owners owed much to the cour- 
age and sagacity with which they investigated danger, ar.d the 
skill wliich they used in avoiding it; and paid many just com- 
pliments to their science, as well as to their humanity. 

Mr. Buddie, in returning thanks, said, that Sir Humphry 
Davy's lamp- offered them resources in the art of mining which 
tliey had never hoped for, enabled them to \vc<rk coals which 
could never even have been explored, and above all, took from 
their minds a heavy weight of responsibility. 

•Sir Hum|)hry Davy gave the health of the Rev. Dr. Gray, n 
gentleman, he said, by whose enlightened philanthropy his at- 
tention had been first turned to the subject. — Dr. Gray returned 

The following toasts were given by the Chairman: 

" The Union of Science with Ilnmanity." — "The Trade of 
Tync and Wear," — " The Members of Newcastle." — " The 
Kcv. John Hodgson." 

Sir H. Davy said he had sjioken of the general benefits re- 
sulihig from science j he was sure they would drink with pleasure 

U 4 the 

3 1 2 Steam Engines. — Voltaic Action, 

tJie liealtli of a most venerable and distinguished friend to 
science— Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Royal Society, 
who in youth had endeavoured to extend the Umits of human 
knowledge, amongst difficulties and dangers; who, in his ad- 
vanced age, was the patron of every useful object ; and wlio, 
through his whole life, had devoted his fortune and his time to 
the purposes of science. 

Mr. Robinson f;ave " The Members for the County of Dur- 
ham." — Mr. Lambron returned thanks. 

At ten o'clock Mr. Lambton and Sir H. Davy took their leave 
amidst the enthusiastic applauses of the meeting, when Mr. Wm. 
Lamb took the chair, and harmony and conviviality were kept 
up till a late hour. Never was there a more agreeable meeting, 
and as the object of it was one of convivial benevolence, so the 
effect of it was universal hilaritv. 


From the .Monthly Report for September, it appears that du- 

rhig that month the following was the work performed by the 

engines reported, with each bushel of coals. 

Water lifted ifoot high 

ic'ilh each bushel. 

23 common engines averaged 23,099,400 

Woolf's at Wheal Vor . . 38,894,222 

Ditto Wh. Abraham* . . 40,310,194 

Ditto ditto .. .. 26,138,822 

Ditto Wh. Unity t .. 29,557,019 

Dalcouth engine .. .. 43,031,945 

Wheal Abraham ditto .. 35,128,397 

United Mines ditto . . . . 30,7 16,.538 

Wheal Chance ditto . . 38,832,427 

Load per square 
inch in cylinder. 


15-5 lib. 





18 1 



To Mr. Tilloch. 
S;R,— Having ascertained the influence of atmospheric air in 
increasing the intensity of the Voltaic action, I was next desirous, 
in followMig up the views of M. Dessaignes, to ascertain the ef- 
fect of an exalteil temperalure. For this purpose the plates 
were heated highly in a sand-bath and plunged into the acid 
medium in the porcelain cells. By this means I ignited with 
the three porcelain troughs adverted to, still preserving the same 
diluted acid, eleven ivches and a half of platinum wire. The 
experiments with charcoal and metallic laminae were propor- 
tionally brilliant. I next raised the temperature of the acid so- 
lution up to 130" F. and obtained results nearly as striking. 

* Has had considerable lets this inonti) to repair boilers. 

t W'otkiiig part of this month without the aid of the biwall cylinder. 


Safety-Fnrnate,&c. ^ 313 

^Vft h.'M'e thus provided another mean for obtaining an increased 

In referring to the apparatus I have proposed for drawing ofif 
and consuming the explosive hydrocarbonate of the mine, I 
should have mentioned, tliat when one, two or more pipes are 
used, the orifices of the others must be shut by means of proper 
appendages. By allowing the urn to rest in water, it will alwavs 
be kept cool; — or a current of water being permitted to enter 
from below, through a small aperture ; we should have, besides 
the safety afforded by the wire-gauze, that of an atmosphere of 
steam; — and if the position of Sir H. Davy be founded in truth, 
xh&t flame is an exhibition of temperature above a white heat, 
and that the wire-gauze serves merely to cool down the flame below 
that increment which is the grade of incipient flame, — a fl,llet 
cf xu'ire-gmize in the interior of the urn, thus, 
would present a number of cooling surfaces, ./ , — ^^ "\ 
by incepting the included flame, and such a /'/ / --.^ \ '. 
convolute, or spiral partition of wire-gauze, ; ; '. '—] ] \ 
would yield a security as ample and as also- \ \ *-'' /' / 
lute as the safety-lamp*. \ * "' ,-' 

I exposed to the action of the compound gases in the oxy- 
hydrogen blowpipe, a fragment of a meteoric stone which fell at 
Pulrose (one mile from Douglas, Isle of Man), about twenty 
years ago, during a thunder-storm. It tore up the ground with 
considerable violence, killing a mare and foal at the same time. 
This meteorolite appears somewhat like a dark pumice-stone, — 
of low specific gravity, — and containing a few small white specl:s 
resenibling leucite when exposed to high increments of tempera- 

It exhibited before the blow-pipe : first, an intense most vivid 
light, — then entered mio fusion, and passed into a Mack glass. 

I also introduced before the ignited gaseous mixture a piece of 
what has been long kiiown here under the name of polishing 
powder. This portion of it which I found in situ resembled 
asbestos, having a ligniform structure, but crumbling into a soft 
powder between the fingers. I found it in contact with decom- 
posing granite and ijuartz interspersed with Tiecdle schorl; in- 
deed, I have specimens which I found in the same plnce, com- 
posed of masses of needle and compact schorl exhibiting the 
various transitions into this substance. 

Before the blow-pipe it was characterized by a vivid light like 

• I apprchciiH tliut llie convolute would |)rps.eiit \mtone cooling surface, 
namely tlie exterior ; tlic inner convolutions would be in tlie situ'ation of a 
j/i«cc of within a Siifi;ty-!Hin{). — Ld;t. 


314 . ■ Chcmhlry. 

magnesia when introduced before the condensed ignited gas, en- 
tered into Ya\nA fusion, and formed a beautiful black bead. 

1 am, sir, your obedient humble servant, 
Douglas, Is'i^ of M;iii. Sept. 17, 18ir. J. MuRRAY. 

The following errata appear in my late pape;-: Pagel45,line 8, 
read " ivlule" instead o^ unlil. Page 14'^, read " of ike corrosive 
salt." Page 146, read Mr. Porrett jun. J. M. 



To Mr. Tilloch. 

Sir, — I beg leave to offer to the consideration of your che- 
mical readers a more convenient ]irocess for preparing acetate 
of potassa than that vviiich is at present followed, in the wav 
now practised; viz. that of saturating subcarbonate of potassa 
with distilled vinegar. It almost invariably happens that the so- 
lution is of a brown colour, probably arising in part from the pre- 
sence of some extractive matter, and partly from the partial com- 
bustion of the acid during the ebullition. In order to remove this 
impurity the solution is evaporated to dryness, and the residuiim 
is melted by a gentle heat and left to crystallize. If the solution 
of the acetate be made in the wav which I shall proceed to di- 
rect, it is coloTirless, and consequently does not require the eva- 
poration to dryness and subseciuent fusion. 

Let 120 parts of subcarbonate of potassa and 300 parts of 
superacetate of lead be separately dissolved in as little v/ater a» 
possible; the solutions are to be mixed together, the carbonate 
of lead will be precipitated, and the acetate of potassa will re- 
main in solution, which may be evaporated until it becomes 
somewhat thick, and then set aside to crystallize. 

I am unacquainted with the quantity or acetate yielded by the 
above proportions ; as while the solution was evaporating, aa 
accident happened to my apparatus. 

I obtained from the 300 grains of .-uperacctate only 160 grains 
oi carbonate of lead; from which circumstance I am induced to 
question the accuracy of Thenard'.s statement of the f)roportion3 
of the component parts of the former salt; viz. oxide of lead 58; 
acetic acid 26; water 16: for, supposing his account to be 
correct, I did not obtain the full proportion of oxide, without 
reckoning the cirbonicacid: the whole of which, as no efferves- 
cence occurred on mixing the solutions, must have entered into 
combination. I am, sir, yours respectfully, 

July 27, 1817. ' LiTKOPHILUS. 

P. S. I have recently found that the colouring matter of the 
resin vulgarly denominated dragons blood, may be extracted by 
quicklime, almost if not quite as well as by cau&tic alkali. 


Death ly Lightning. — Queries, 315 


To Mr. TillocL 
5iR, — During a visit to a friend in Herefordslnre, I was de- 
sired to examine tlie body of a man wliose life had been suddenly 
destroyed by lightning at Colwall near Ledbury. The wife of 
the deceased obstinately refusing permission to open the body, 
my examination was confined to the effects of the electric fluid 
on the external surface. On viewing the head, I found the hair 
and the beard of the left side singed, and the skin of the ear, 
cheek, and ujjper part of the neck perfectly black, but entire. 
Between the shoulders there was another black spot of the size 
of a crown, exactly over the spine, and on the outside of the 
thigh of the right side just above the kuee, there was another 
black spot \\hich I coiild scarcely cover with my hand. The 
parts of the shirt and flannel lining of the breeches and jacket 
which covered the injured skin wore charred, but neither the ex- 
terior ])art3 of the sii;aU-clothe'; (u'hich were made of corduroy) 
nor of tiie jacket were burnt, the electric fluid having only occa- 
sioned a laceration resembling an incision made by a sharp in- 
strument. It appears that the electric matter entered the left 
side of the head, passed through the chest and abdomen in an 
oblique direction, and escaped just above the knee on the oppo- 
site side of the body. Whether the fluid entered or escaped at 
the spot on the back, I am at a loss to say ; but from the ex- 
ternal part of the jacket not being burnt, I suspect a quantity 
escaped there. The spots were perfectly black, and exhibited 
the same a])pearance as is produced by the caustic alkali after 
remaining several hours on the skin ; and from its fiabby state, 
the mischief was no doubt deep. Whether the fluid produced 
the same elTcct on the internal parts through which tlie fluiti 
j)assed as it did on the skin, is a (juestion which I shall be obliged 
to yon, or some of your readers who have ascertained the fact in 
a similar case, to answer. The man at the time the accident 
happened was under an oak-tree, and when the lightning struck 
him he spnmg forward and fell on his face; soon after which 
there was a second flash, and this might h ive produced the spot 
between the slioulders ; but if so, where did it escape ? 

AI)out twenty years ago I had an o))portnnitv to examine « 
■na'i who was struck dead by lightning in a field near HerefortI, 
with an umbrella over his head. On that man the electric fluifl 
prodnccd no evident effect either externally or internally. The 
brain had a sulphurous smell. 

Qn('ri(-<>. Did the passing of the fluid through tlie umbi'ella 
prevent its burning the l>orly ? As no apparc 'it injury was done 
to the bodv, how are we to account for its cttccts ia destroying 

516 New Scale for the Mdtwtain Barometer. — Optics. 

life ? Did it terminate life l)y destroying the electrical powers 
of the brain ? I hope some of your readers will, through the' 
mediuiii of your valuable work, favour me witii some remarks on 
these cases, aiid replies to my queries, I am, sir, vour consfaut 
Reader, ' R. R. 

Piccadilly, ( )ct. ir, 1817. 


Professor Bertoncelli of Verona has contrived an ingenious 
method of adapting a graduated measure to the common scale 
of the barometer, to indicate the height of mountains without the 
necessity of calculating for the different degrees of temperature, 
&c. To the common scale he adapts a corresponding one, di- 
viding the inches into 100, placing his zero at mean pressure, 
and ascending both ways in numeration from that point. This 
scale is surmounted by a brass revolving cylinder on which are 
graved four different series of lines ; one perpendicular divided 
like the preceding; another of ten diverging lines which ascend 
the whole length of the cylinder, and the rationale of which the 
Professor has not stated; — these lines are again partially inter* 
secied by two series of four lines diverging at right angles from 
the point of zero, and designed to indicate the correction for 
difference of temperature. The whole cylinder revolves by means 
of a screw, and acts in conjunction with the counter scale of the 
barometer ; it is accompanied by a vernier, which is commanded 
by two or three screws to the point of correction; while this 
vernier is also to act in correspondence with a common nonius 
placed on the inch scale opposed to the surface of the mercury. 
This complex machine Professor Bertoncelli calls an Ipsographie 
scale, which nevertheless has still to be read off and calculated 
by the aid of logarithms. If he could find a metal which would 
r.ot contract with cold, then his series of screws and tangent linen 
might be useful ; and if logarithms were more familiar than com- 
mon addition or subtraction, this instrument might prove of 
much general utility. 


A very interesting case has just occurred, of a person born 
blind being rc^-tored to sight by the means of a surgical opera- 
tion: — A native of Bindwan, of the age of eighteen, was lately 
sent by his familv to Dr.Luxmore, of whose success in the removal 
of the cataract they had heard by public report. The operation 
was performed on the 26th, and in six days he began to see and 
distinguish objects. After the celebrated case of Dr. Chesel- 
den's patient, whose sensations have been so minutely and phi- 
losophicallv laid before the public, it can hardly be expected that 
any discovery regarding the origin of our ideas of figure, distance, 
t^r quantity, could be extracted from the observation of an ig- 

Hylernation of Sivallows. — Patents. 317 

norant country boy, who, unaccustomed to think abstractedly, is 
little able to describe the gradual improvement of his intellect, 
under this sudden and astonishing introduction to the visible 
world. He confirmed, however, with readiness the conclusion, 
so obvious from the feelings of Dr. Cheselden's patient, that 
our common judgement of figure, quantity, and distance, is not 
an inherent faculty in the mind, but a practical result, from the 
ever-repeated experiment of comparing the perspective with the 
actual figure, bulk, or distance. For a cricket-ball was put in 
one hand, and a cube of soap in the other, and he was desired to 
describe their shape ; he was unable to do it by his newly ac- 
quired and inexperienced vision, and was obliged to have con- 
stant recourse to the more practised sense of feeling. When 
any object is presented to him, although he can without hesita- 
tion declare its colour, he is wholly unable to decide on its qua- 
lity, imtil he is allowed to handle it. — Bengal Paper, 


Extract of a Letter from Joseph Wood, escj. to a Gentleman in 

" Marietta, June 30. 
" I came to this country in the autumn of 1785, and resided 
atBelleville about three n)iles below thisplace,on theVirginia side, 
till 1791. During my residence there, I observed one evening 
a little after sunset, a vast number of swallows collected together 
high in the air, and hovering over a particular spot ; this was 
in autumn, when the weather began to grow cool. Having been 
informed by some of my school-mates, when a boy, that they 
had seen swallows dive into a mill-pond, and disappear, I was 
determined to watch these, and in about ten or fifteen minutes, 
as darkness approached, they lowered their flight, and concen- 
trated in a smaller circle, and at length, to my surprise, poured 
into a very huge hollow sycamore- tree, about seventv feet above 
the ground. I observed that they came out for several succes- 
sive days, and returned in tlie evening in the same manner. In 
the following year, some of the settlers cut down the tree ; the 
hollow was about six feet in diameter, and was filled six inches 
deep with bones and feathers, and other remains of dead hirds; 
— such, probably, as were too old and feeble to fly out in the 
tpring. They must have occupied the tree for many years. I 
have since seen two other trees that have fallen, with similar ap- 


To Edmund Richard Ball, of Albury Mills, iu the parish of 
Albury, Surry, for his new method of manufacturing paper of 


318 Palents. — Aslroiromy. 

superior strength and durability for bills, or notes, or other uses 
re(]uiving strength. — 9th August 1817. — 2 months to enroll. 

To Edward Biggs, of Birmingham, for his improvements in 
the methods of making or manufacturing pans and stalls of va- 
rious kinds. — Ijth August. — 2 months. 

To James Bounsali, of Crown-street, Old-street Road, Shore- 
ditch, Middlesex, for certain improvements in the machhiery 
used for tarring, reeling, and twisting of yarn, and forming the 
lissims or strands of cables and other cordage, and manufactur- 
ing rope of every size. — i2th August. — 6 months. 

To William Geldart and .Fohn Servant, both of Leeds, York- 
shire, for certain improvenieiits in mangles. — r2ihAugust — 2 mo. 

To Jephtha Avery Vv'iikinson, late of New- York in the United 
States of America, but now of Covent Garden, Middlesex, for 
certain improvements i:i the application of machinery for the 
purpose of manufacturing of weavers' reeds by water or other 
power. — 23d August. — G months. ' 

To George Medhurst, of Denmark-street, St. Giles, Mitrale- 
sex, engineer, for an arrangement of implements to form certain 
apparatus which he denominates the hydraulic balance, applica- 
ble to mechanical and hydraulic purposes. — 2Gth August. — 6 


To Mr. Till'ick. 

SrR, — 1 take the opportunity of inquiring, through the means 
of your vvidcly-cxten.ded Magazine, whether any of your astro- 
nomical correspondents observed the remarkable conjunction of 
Fe?ins w'.th Regidus on the 29th of September last. I find by 
M. Bode's Ephemeris. tiiat the two stars would, at Berlin, ap- 
pear within twelve seconch of each other : but no notice is taken 
of this singular phajjiomenon either in the Nautical Almanack, 
or in the Connulssmice des Tems. 

I am, sir, your obedient servant, 
OLtobei'27, 1817. y\.STIlONOMICUS. 


D. H. M. 


D yi SL 


)) 3yr;3i 

6. 0,16 

D r w 

6.11. 4 

)> s 

7.16. 3 

)) ? 


D A njj 

8. 8. S 

D 2a :ii 


D J "12 

9. 0. 

B in perigee 

10.10 5 

T) Opbiuchi 

12. 0.20 

^ 4> t 

12. 4. 1 

]i cr } 

JD, H. M. 

12. 8. (5 

D r t 


3) svy 

20. 8 20 

1) }i 

22. 0. 

3) in apogee 

22. 2.54 

enters f 

23. p. 6" 

D A « 

25. 2.35 

D c? 

25. 5.33 

J 125 a 

27- 9. 2 


28. 0.27 

D ^|/ 2 s 

30. C.49 

J> ^ a 





[The time of observation, unless oti-.erwise stated, is at 1 P.M.] 


Sept. 15 















Oct. 1 











































State of the Weather and Modification 
of the Clouds. 

30-20 Rain 

30- £0 Cloudy 

30-15 Fair 

29-8! Rain 

30- Fair — rain A.M. 

iO-15 Ditto 
30-14 Ditto 

I0-03 Cloudy 
30-07 Fair 
30-06 Ditto 

29-60 Ditto — rain A.M. 
2y--2' Fair — gale from the SW. 
29" 4 4 Cloudy — ditto 
^^9-80 Ditto— wind N. by E. — sharp frost 

at night 
30-09 Fine «litto ditto 

30-14 Ditto ditto ditto 

29 90 Ditto ditto ditto 

30-21 Ditto ditto ditto 

30-22 Ditto ditto ditto 

30-39 Ditto 

30-47 Ditto — heavy rain A.M. 

30-4 5 Very fine 

30-36 Ditto 

30-2 ' Fine 

30- 1 7 Ditto 

30-07 Cloudy 

30- 1 6 I'air — cold rain A.M. 

30-20 Showery 

30-40 Very fine — rain P.M. 

30-32 Showery 




meteorological table, 

By Mr. Gary, of the Strand, 

For October 1817. 



Height of 

the Barom. 


Desireeb of Dry- 
ness by Leslie's 



Days of 





Sept. 27 



























Oct. 1 






Fair . 
































































. 11 










































































































N.B. The Barometer's height is takenat oneo'crock. 

{ 321 ] 

LI I. On the Quest ion " JVhether Music is necessary to t/ie 
Orator^ — to what Extent, and how most readily attainalle?'' 
By IluNUY Upington, Esq. 

To Mr. Til loch. 

jj Bluir's Hill, Cork, oept. 25, 1817. 

Sir, — JriAViNG been lately lecjuested b)- a particular friend, 
to ilirecr my attention towards the inve-tigation of a certain sub- 
ject which he considered both interesting and instructive, 1 com- 
plied with his wishes ; and having proceeded a certain length, 
I now transmit you a copy, intending at a future period to com- 
plete the incjuiry. 

The purport of this investigation was — " Whether music is 
necessary to the orator— to what extent^ and how most readily 
attainable r" 

As there appeared to me, at my first setting out, some proba- 
ble connexion between the intervals of ispeeth, and the ancient 
divi.-ion of the musical scale, I was determined, if possible, to 
analyse the tetrachord. Hence arose not only the question of 
minute division, but of concords, even to the perfection or im- 
perfection of our present harmonical basis : — and with this part 
of the subject I thought it more desirable to begin. 

Experiment 1. 1 prepared a common deal sounding-board 
about four feet in length, with an ordinary bridge, and sufficient 
steel wires for the subdivision of one single ybM?//i into quarter 
tones, CF being the extremes. 

Result. After getting the best-ear'd musicians around me, to 
tune, retune, alter, realter, by ear as well as by all the ancient data 
1 could trace, — tlie only effect produced, in their estimation, 
whenever a (piarter tone was struck, was that which would ne- 
cessarily be produced by an instrument out of tune. 

What can we infer from hence ? That modern ears are no 
more prepared for the reception of the real diesio or quarter 
tone, than the ears of our earliest ancestors would have been for 
that of our present senii-tonical division. Here a very important 
question presents itself: How happens it, that at this very day 
(if we may believe Dr. Burne,y:) the /trubian scale is more mi- 
nutely divided than ours; their octave containing twenty-four 
quarter tones, for all of wliicli there are particular denomina- 
tions? Must it not have arisen from excessive cultivation, the 
ear having been |)reviou^ly satiated with the semi-tone ? Dr. B. 
Is right perhaps in asserting that such division is incompatible 
with modern harmony. But what of this ? Docs it prove the 
superiority of modern European cars, or the supcrioritv ot our 
Vol. 50. No. 2^5. AW. 1S17. X 'system? 

means of a monochoid 
the comparative lengths 
of sounding wire being 

322 On ike Question " Whether Music is necessary to the 

system ? It is idle to speak of Nature — vve are all the children 
of Art. But in regard to our senses, is there any rational groiu.d 
for asserting that our ears are more infallible than our eves ? 
Early impressions will produce within us certain ideas of beautv 
which no subsequent comparison can efface : Hence tlie totter- 
ing foot and sugar-loaf head are held in greater estimation by 
the Chinese, than those of the most perfect statue ever said to 
have been formed by the chisel of Praxiteles. Vve may next 
proceed to 

Experiment 2. being one certain, and perliaps the only me- 
thod of tuning the soni stabiles or immoveable tones of the 
disdiapason, agreeably (as I conceive) to the laws of the ancient 
system; that is, with three conjunct, and one disjunct, tetra- 
chords; for which purpose I employed a common piano-forte. 

Let the disdiapason or double octave be represented by the 
follovi-ing letters, taking C as the fundamental : 

C C>j D D* E FF* G G* A A* B ca^ dd^ (^jj'^' gg'^ ""*■ ^ ^ 

This tuning was effected by 
1st. Tune D to any desired pitch 

2dly. G a perfect 4th from D 

Sdly. c a perfect ^th from G 

4thly. C a perfect octave from c „ , r ^ -. i ^ 

Bthly. f a perfect 4th from XF^'-^^^^^""'^^™^"*'^'']. 1000 

Gthly. (c) a perfect octave from c L suppose . . ..J 

7thly. — g apcrfect4thl, .J^] }'' /'1:"'^"^''\ 750 

(downwards) j^'^"^ ^^ 1 "'^' "^ ^^^^^ , ' v( 

^ ^J [For Its octave, | of\ .^^ 

^ 1000 .. ../ ^^^ 

The ultimate soni stabiles will therefore exhibit themselves in 
the following order : every other note being subject to the pro- 
posed adjustment of the performer. 

CD G c fg <^> 

Now this arrangement, which insists upon no more thaji two 
intermediate notes in either octave, will be found upon trial to 
differ so very little, if at all, from that mode of tuning most 
agreeable to a cultivated ear, that we must consider it (at least 
for simple melody) as a mere well-regulated outline. 

I could here wish to examine, why the/inirth was considered 
by the ancients as the most perfect conchord; so perfect indeed 
as to constitute the main regulator of the scale; — but the docu- 
ments of antiquity are wanting. We must therefore resort to a 
modern experiment, which I find recorded in one of our Cyclo- 
paedias (I believe Rees's), which exhibits the question in a sin- 
gularly striking manner. 



Orator, — to whatExtent^andhow most readily attamalleF* 323 

Not content with the assertion of the writer, who made the 
experiment with a wire several yards in length, I constructed a 
simple monochord (that of which I have just spoken), and found 
the results to correspond. As this very simple instrument is not 
only amusing, but on many occasions instructive, I shall de- 
scribe it. 


Take an even strip of deal, free from knots, about three feet 
long, five inches broad, and three-quarters thick. Plane it fair, 
and gliie upon each end a piece of hard wood about an inch and 
a half in height. Stretch a steel wire horizontallv over these by 
means of two upright iron pegs suited to a common tuning-ham- 
mer. Lastly, procure a perpendicular bridge of hard wood, 
about an inch long, whose base may be three-quarters, and whose 
summit about one-quarter inch in breadth: let it move freely to 
and fro beneath the wire, (merely in contact and no more, lest 
the pitch should be altered,) and press it (the wire) down" upon 
the aforesaid bridge, at the destined mark, with your nail, or, 
which is better, with a small oblong square piece of hard timber. 
The monochord is thus complete ; and by way of a sounding- 
board, you have only to place it on a table, or on the leaf of a 

A rough side-view may explain it better. 

i^"- — / 

■ )■ \ 


r-f^[ / 

\ \ 

\ r*"* 



1 \^ 


N 0, 

I ■ 





A A, Blocks which serve for feet. 

B B, Permanent bridges, each one inch and a half high. 

C C, Blocks in which the pegs are inserted, 

D, Ivloveabie bridge. 

Let me now describe the experiment which proves the grada- 
tion of our concords. 

Experiment 3. Take a strip of fine soft paper (news paper 
will answer) about one inch and a half long and half an inch 
broad, bent longitudinally in a triangular form, like a saddler. 
With one extremity of this saddle (its apex being upward) the 
string while sounding is to be gentlv pressed at given points, and 
tones different from the original will be strongly perceptible. 



324 On the Question ** Whether Music is necessary to the 

-^ , , ^. which would he pro- Harmonic sounds 

Points of (hired at such points >>cre resulti:i(j from 

contact. tlic bridge so situate, and the ticnile pressure 

wire struck in the usual way. by the soft paper. 

Centre Octave. „ . Octave. 

i point Fourth. .. Double Octave. 

1 do Fifth. . . Octave of the Fifth. 

I- do Minor 6th . . Trijjle Octave. 

4 j_ AT • o 1 / Double Octave of the 

t ao Major Jd. . . < at • oj 

•' \ Major 3a. 

tS- do. .. .. Minor .3cl... Double Octave of the 5 th, 

» Ar. AT • p*i ( Double Octave of the 

T do Major 6th . . -J ,,, . „ , 

•' (l Major Jd. 

[The moveable bridge is not used in this experiment.] 
OJ' Discords. 

The 2ds and /ths are imlepevdevt characters, mutually coiv- 
i>ected with each other, and bearing no relation whatever to any 
of the foregoing concords. 

Such is the undeniable statement of harmonic relations, by 
which you will readily perceive the remoteness of our 3ds, and 
tlieir consequent rejection by the Greeks, who acknowledged only 
two concords, (the octave being considered as a repetition, or 
rather as an antiphonious sound,) in contradistinction to the Uiii^ 
son, which was termed homophonious. 

These two ancient concords were, 

The 4 th, regarded perfect. 
The 5th, regarded imperfect. 

Were you to take the trouble of reading Burney's History of 
Music, you would smile at his unwillingness to acknowledge th« 
4th as a concord at all. His reason is obvious, the compaiatit;e 
perfection or imperfection of our harmonic system being so de- 
pendent upon this important fact. 

That harmony, according to the modern sense, was rejected 
by the Greeks, requires but little argument. In every system 
adopted by that extraordinary people, they sought perfection^ 
nor could they by any means consent to the erection of a super- 
structure upon ever so slightly defective a basis. With them no 
other combination of tones was held admissible, than that of the 
unison and octave ; and for these they might well have pleaded 
the sympathy of Nature herself. Aristides Quintilianus, an an- 
cient Greek writer, has ri>!ated the case, and the proof is readily 
attainable with our monochord. 

Experiment 4. Tune to perfection, on the piano-forte, every 
note within a given octave. 

Ttme the monochord in perfect unison with the upper note of 


Orator, — to what Extent, and hoiu most readily attainable P" 325 

thct octave, suppose c. Place it on the piano, and balance 
across the wire a small slip of fine tissue paper, sufficiently bent 
to sustain itself froiti falling. 

Strike the fundanieiiUl C of the piano pretty strongly, and 
the wire of the nionochord will vibrate a little', just so as to 
agitate the paper. 

Stvike the upper c, that is the unison of the monochord, in a 
similar way, and the paper will be strongly agitated. 

Strike every other indivit'ual note between C and c, and no 
such effect shall be produced. 

So far for sympathy, which fully authorized the adoption of 
the unison and octave ; and so far may the ancient system be 
defended. But why should that system have been confined to 
tlie narrow limits of t!ie disdiapason or dcrnhle octave ? 

Perhaps tiiis question may be solved by another. May not the 
Greeks, whos;e constant maxim was that of unity, have consi- 
dered the musical string itself as the natural boundary of the mu- 
sical system, every sound, though Jipparently simple, being neither 
more nor less than a compound of the numberless intervals 

of the grand system, or -whole string — ' 

and of the two smaller, or disdiapasons, into which "I <--i-~2^ 
the string while vibrating is divided . . . . j 

every portion thereof being at the same moment in more or 
less effective operation— wi//«, and, if I may use the expression, 
at the same time ivithn/it a central bridge ? 

This conjecture may not be deemed altogether irrational 
when we reflect upon the ancient character, — thus maintaining 
the unitv of Nature in al! the fullness of perfection. 

But why did not the Greeks consent to the subdivision of 
timt, tiie only distinctions with them being the long and short, in 
the ratio of one to tv/o, similar to those of our semibreve and 
minim, or crotchet and quaver? I answer — The preservation of 
their beautiful language, whose genius does not even admit our 
ordinary barring. Had the frittering away of syllables been 
once encouraged, and considered as a nmsical beauty, where 
would the innovation have ceased ? Ancient Poetry herself 
would have lost her character, and ancient Oratory have been 
degraded for ever. 

In addition to the previous inquiries, that of the ancient modes 
must not pass unnoticed. Little however can be said respecting 
them, the necessary materials being irrecoverably lost. They 
appear to me to have been sofuewhat analogous to what we now 
tern* the different key\, — each of which keys, in consequence of 
the manner of tuning the instrument, had its own fixed character, 
which character would have been destroyed by transposition into 
any other key. No general temperament, therefore, could have 
X 3 answered 

S26 *' Whether Music is necessary to the Orator F' 

answered the design, the soni mobiles, or moveable tones, re- 
quiring a new manner of tuning upon every change of mode. 

In these changes, the 3ds, no doubt, must have had their in- 
fluence, flattening the minors adding considerably to the plain- 
tive, and s]iar|)ening tlie majors to the madckviii'g effect of the 

Such niceties could hardly have been discriminated, much less 
executed, during the grosser ages; in which, according to Bur- 
ney, the singing of a simple semitone in tune was almost insur- 
mountable. Hence, and hence alone followed what we moderns 
have been j)leased to term " the reformation of the scale." 
" Guido arose," say a number of musicians who never took the 
trouble of exploring antiquity: But wiiat did tiiis Guy Aretin 
achieve? Little more than the improvement of lines (for even 
these were partially adopted Ijefore his day), and the total aban- 
donment of tetrachords with all their deHcate distinctions; sub- 
stituting in their place, not tlie system of octaves, but the less 
comj)rehensive one of hexachords or 6ths. 

As to harmony, or rather note against note,-T-for he had no 
idea of more extensive combination,'' — the accompanying tones 
of the 4th, 5th, and 8th were employed a long time before him : 
the Monk Hubald, who fiourished in the tenth century (nearly 
one hundred years before Guido), having left a sort of treatise on 
Music, which shows that not only the practice of limited coun»- 
terpoint prevailed at that period, but also that in addition to 
the 4th, 5th, and Sth, both 2ds and 3ds were occasionally ad- 

Dr. Burney has given us some particular accounts of Guido, 
Among other singularities, he forbade the use of the Sth in har- 
mony, although he frequently employed the 2d and 4th, as like- 
wise the major and minor 3ds, which latter (the 3ds) had for 
some time been gaining ground. 

These, with the cultivation of lines and the abandonment of 
the tetrachords. as I have already mentioned, — together with the 
extension of the disdiapason to two octaves and a sixth, assign- 
ing, as some suppose, the name of G, or Gamma, to the lowest 
note, from whence the term Gamut, — are the most notable mat- 
ters recorded of tliis applauded nn nk. 

With respjct to our /?we-table : even in the day of John de 
Muris, who lived in tiie fourteenth century, it contained but four 
or five cliaractcrs, and was therefore very limited compared with 
that tabic which ;.fter-ages contributed to extend and improve. 
Kor can an) music be found of the preceding centuries, con- 
sisting of more than two parts; and these in the strictest coun- 
terpoint of note against note. 

Thus every thing was progressive^, nor have we any reason to 


Report of the Select Committee on Steam-Boats. 327 

affirm that any extraordinarv genius arose to whom posterity has 
been singularly inclehtorl. Even lairing itself was never prac- 
tised, at least in England, before the reign of our Charles the 

Let us now finish our examination of ancient music, by in- 
(]uiring; into the more immediate causes of its destruction, as 
well as tlie ravages whicli almost obliterated its very traces. 

After the conversion of the emperors, it would appear that all 
the theatres and other public spectacles were discouraged ; and 
that nothing but the insipid psalmodv of the primitive Christians 
could find its way into the churches and private dwellings. Thus 
vanished by degrees the Greek and Roman secular music ; no 
private person l)eing capable of executing the refined and diffi- 
cult music of the theatre. Add to this, the ultimate overthrow 
of both the Eastern and Western empires; and, not to speak of 
Gothic ravages, the plundering and burning* of Rome in 1527 
by the army of Charles V., by wliich the records of the pontifical 
chaj)el, with innumerable works of every description, were de- 
st/oyed ;- — and we shall by no means wonder at the paucity of 
musical documents which hUve reached our time. 
[To be cuiitiiiucd.j 

LIII. Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider of 
tlie Means of preventing the Mischief of Explosion from hap- 
pening on board Steam-Boats, to the Danger or Destruction 
of His Majesty's Suljects on board such Boats. 

[Concluded from p. 256.] 

Mr. Jos IAS Jessop's Evidence. 

Otate to the Committee what you are, and where you reside ? 
— I am a civil engineer, residing in the Adelphi, London. 

Are you acquainted with steam-boats ? — I know the principle 
of them ; I have been on board of them, and seen them. 

Our object being to inquire into the method of ensuring a 
greater safety to the passengers on board those steam -boats, 
have you any thing to couimimicate to the Committee respect- 
ing that object ? — If tliat were the only object, tiiere can be no 
doubt that one of low pressure must be more secure than one of 
high pressure ; for altliough they may be both easily made secure 
originally, yet from the natural wear and tear, t)oth are liable to 
accident-. If an accident happen to one of a high pressure, its 
conse(iuences certainly will be more dangerous than that of a 
low pressure engine. 

* St'u Uuriiev, wlio quoted Andrea Adami, 

X4 If 

328 Report of the Select Comviiitee 

Is it your opinion that a high pressure hoiler may be con- 
structed so as to make it perfectly secure ? — That is a theoretical 
question to give an answer to; I should say yes, certainly; but 
experience proves that both wear out. 

What would be the construction, and what the precautions 
you should recommend, in order to ensure that safety? — That it 
should be able to withstand the proof of two or three times the 
pressure to which you are likely to put it, or rather the pres- 
sure to which you should Ije limited ; if, for instance, you meant 
to work it at fiftv pounds pressure, and it stand the proof of one 
huudred-and-fifty pounds, the presumption is, that it is se- 
cure; but in the course of two or three years all boilers wear 

What are the jirccautions that you would recommend to pre- 
vent a boiler being used at a greater power than what it was 
adapted for?^-By having an additional safety-valve, to which 
the person who works the engine should not have access. 

Is there any other ])recaution that you would recommend ? — 
I think that if it were made of malleable metal, such as iron and 
copper, it would be an additional security. 

What is the ground of your preference to malleable or wrought 
metal? — It does not burst by an explosion, as brittle metal does, 
but tears; it would prol)ably rend at the joints. 

You do not mean then to say, that it would be impossible that 
a malleable boiler would burst, but that it is improbal)le that 
it would? — It would burst, but it would not fly in pieces; the 
rent would create a natural safety-valve. 

Are you accjuainted with the fact, that high pressure steam 
and water heated so as to raise that steam, do not scald in the 
same manner with water and steam at the heat of 212° ? — I am 
not acquainted with the fact ; but I have no difficulty in believ- 
ing that the steam will not scald, although I should thiid; that 
the water will. 

Do you think that if the safety-valves lie properly adjusted to 
the strength of the boiler, and so constructed as to work with 
perfect ease, and one of them put outof tlie reach of the engine- 
man, there is any occasion for the additional aid of a mercurial 
gauge? — I should think not. 

Have you any particular suggestions to make respecting the 
construction of tlie boiler ? — The most convenient form of the 
boiler is, t!iat it should be adapted to the shape of the boat; and 
I should think, that tliat beino- taken for granted, the safety 
would depend upon the strength of the metal, and not upon the 
form. It shoukl be made of such strength, that any indenture 
would not affect it. Although the form approaching to cylin- 
drical is of course stronger than any other form, that which nearest 


on Sleam-Boais. 329 

spproachcs to a sphere is the strongest, but a cyhnder with semi- 
circular ends is best ; I mean hemispherical ends. 

Is it not verv possible to burst a low pressure engine, if the 
engine-man is careless, or rasli enough wholly to neglect his 
steam-valve ? — Certainly ; I think that they are equally liable 
to burst, onlv the one bursts with greater danger and risk than 
tlie other. 

ii/V. Alexander Nimmo's Evidence. 

^^'lu1t are ynu ? — A civil engineer, and generally residing in 
Pubiin. vou any experience of the construction of steam-engines 
for packets or passage vessels ? — I have seen the steam-vessels 
in the Clyde, on the Thames, and vessels in Ireland, and those 
vessels lately constructed for passage between Dublin and Holy- 
head ; and I have studied the subject with a good deal of care, 
in a professional point of view. I have lately been employed by 
the Dublin Steam Packet Company, to alter one of their vessels, 
which was not found completely fitted for crossing the sea ; 1 
have altered that vessel, and she is now plying in the Bristol 
Channel preparatory to going to Ireland. 

Have vou, in consequence of your expeiience, any suggestions 
to make as to the safe construction of the engine boiler con- 
nected with such packets ? — A great part of the alterations that 
I made upon this vessel, were intended to fit her for going 
through the waves, and to alter her machinery; and another 
portion of them was likewise directed to make her safe as to the 
engine. You are aware that it is necessary for all engines of 
that description to have safety-valves. The defects of the safety- 
valve which I akered, were, tbat it is not now in the power of 
the engine-man to keep it shut ; it is in his power, or that of 
any pr.,ssenger, to open it, however, at all times so as to discover 
whether it be in good order, by a small chain and a weight being 
within the boiler: it is not in his power to add to it while in action: 
and lastly, this vessel being intended to go to sea, and to work 
as she has done, in very rough weather, tlie safety valve is made 
equally effectual in evcrv position of the ship, whether she heel, 
pitch, or roll. The weight preserves the valve in motion, so as 
to keep it from sticking, and it has always the same effort to 
overcome. I will thus describe the nature of the valve : It is a 
hcmisjilierical cup witli its convex surface downwards, resting 
upon a collar, and to the bottom of the cup a weight is hung 
which has pieviouslv been adjusted ; by this means the valve h 
always btcaiji-tight in every jiosition, yet without danger of ad- 
hering, aufi must be lilted by the steam when it exceeds a given 
pressure; but the valve may also be lifted by a chain attached to 


330 Report of the Select Committee 

its upper side, which is inclosed within the iron case, and may he 
drawn by the engine-mrai or any jierson on board, and which 
does not allow him to keep it down or to confine it. We have 
also found it necessary to prevent the accumulation of water 
upon the top of this valve, arising from the condensed steam 
when escaping ; this is done by a small waste-pipe descending 
from the bottom of the pipe which conveys away the waste 
steam ; it is a waste-pipe for water. I have thought it advisa- 
ble to make the steam-valves large, and that the weight which 
is laid on being of itself large may admit easily of addition. I 
have one or two more precautions to suggest for safety: In this 
vessel there are tu'o boilers communicating, and two safety- 
valves ; there is also a mercurial gauge provided with receivers, 
so as to prevent the loss of the mercury in case of any sudden 
collapsation or disengagement of steam, also a tube of glass at- 
tached to the boiler, which exhibits the level of the water in the 
boiler, and preckules any idea of danger in the minds of the 
passengers ; these boilers are made of wrought iron, but I do 
not consider them as being better on that account. 

Do you think equal mischief is likely to arise from the explo- 
sion of the wrought- iron boiler, as from the explosion of the 
cast-iron boiler ? — That depends upon construction. 

Put construction entirely out of tlse question ; suppose the 
form exactly similar, do you conceive that equal mischief is 
likely to attend the explosion of the wrought-iron boiler, as the 
cast-iron boiler ? — If the construction of the cast-iron boiler ad- 
mits of its being made of wrought iron with equal strength, then 
the explosion of the cast iron one would be more dangerous, a& 
it will fly in pieces, whereas the otlier would probably tear; but 
it is scarcely fair to stop at this hypothetical case^ as we must 
consider what can be done in practice. It is scarcely possible 
to form cast iron every where ec|ually strong, and if a part be 
weaker than the rest, either on purpose or by accident, that will 
not have th.e safety that would be oI)tained by a wrought-iron 
boiler : for instance, in cast-iron boilers it is common to have 
holes, and if these be filled with some metal of different melting 
temperature from cast-iron, more fusible for instance than that, 
the juncture will part first, and it may be made to tear as a 
wrought-iron boiler would do ; and again, the wrought iron is 
so much more liable to oxidation than cast iron, that although 
found very efficient at first, its strength and tenacity may be very 
speedily altered ; for these reasons cast-iron boilers have been 
preferred where high pressure engines have been used , and in 
small tubes the tenacity of cast iron can be made greatly to ex- 
ceed that which can be given to wrought iron in the same form. 
I believe all large boilers Ijave latterly been made of wrought 

on Steam'^oats. 331 

iron, as it is difficult to make them of cast iron. Although no 
friend to high pressure engines in veS'Sels, nor to cast-iron boilers, 
on account of the danger of explosion, yet I conceive the chief 
danger of that kind is likely to arise from working low pressure 
boilers at a higher pressure than they were intended for ; and I 
conceive that the principal improvement to be looked for here- 
after in steam vessels, is, to simplify the machinery, and put it 
jn less room, which the h'gh pressure engine and cast-iron boiler 
afford us the means of effecting, and the other does not. I will 
state another thing as of cousequence, viz. as to preventing a 
vessel taking fire ; it is advisable that the furnace and flues, if 
not entirely above the deck, should at least be inclosed in a case 
ofvvater or other non-inflammable matter, until they arrive above 
the deck. This precaution I strongly recommend to be adopted, 

Mr. Arthur Woolf's Evidence. 

What are you? — I am a civil-engineer in the village of Pool, 
in the parish of lUogan, in the county of Cornwall. 

Are you conversant at all wit'n steam packets ? — No ; I never 
had any thing to do with steam packets; they are out of my 

You have been long acquainted with steam-engines? — Yes. 

You invented the one that goes by your name ? — Yes ; I got 
a patent for that steam-engiue. 

Have you anv thing to communicate to this Committee, as to 
the object upon which we are met, which is, the safety of steam- 
engines and boilers on board steam-packets? — With the boilers 
I have been in the habit of using for fourteen years, we never 
have had anv accident at all. 

Of what are they constructed ? — Of cast iron. 

Are your boilers in general made of wrought or cast iron ? — 
Of cast iron wliolly ; I approve of the cast-iron boilers in pre- 
ference to anv mixture of metals. 

Do you consider that the cast-iron boiler, upon the commou 
construction, is equally safe with a vvrought-iron one ? — Not 
upon the common construction that I have seen ; some I should 
have doubted very much ; I have seen some that are rather 
dangerous ; my patent consists of one composed of a number of 

What is the difference between your construction of the boiler 
and the common construction, which, in your opinion, renders 
yours so much safer than the other ? — It is always necessary in 
boilers to have a certain quantity of surface exposed to the ac- 
tion of the lire, to contain heat and steam ; and if that be done 
^n one vessel, of course it must be of considerable size, greater 


332 Report of the Select Comm'titee 

in diameter than if composed of a number of tubes ; and the 
risk of explosion is in proportion to its quantity of surface. 

Do you mean to say that, generally ? — With the same pres- 
sure, certainly. 

Would your boiler be as well adapted for a steam-boat, aa 
those generally made?— Yes, they are calculated for every pur- 
pose ; they are generally adapted to higli pressure steam ; my 
patent was taken out for a safe boiler for a high pressure en- 
gine ; indeed, in my own engines, I do not work the steam to 
that height as is done in what is called the high pressure engine, 
as the novelty of my engine is, that I work the steam twice over. 

What precautions do vou take to prevent accidents ? — I al-> 
ways make my boiler to stand from 14 to 20 times the pressure 
that I ever make use of. 

What precaution do you make use of, to prevent a greater 
pressure ? — The safety-valve is what we depend upon ; I always 
apply two safety-valves, as I have seen incidents where the valve 
has accidentally stuck fast and would not act ; and I have a safety- 
valve, of a particular construction, that never can stick fast. 

Do you use mercurial gauges? — Never for a safety-valve; \ 
never found it necessary to have one, not for an escape. 

Have you any other precautions besides those you have men-* 
tioned ? — Not any, but as to trying boilers to see that they are 
strong enough ; that is the point that I recommended in my 
specification, that they should be proved by pressure every time 
the boiler is emptied for cleansing ; then to fill up the boiler 
with cold water (juite full, and put an extra load of five or ten 
times the power of steam ; and then, by a forcing-pump, to 
syringe water in till it lifts the valves ; then there can be no. 
danger, there can be no explosion. 

Suppose a cast-iron boiler, and a wrought-i-iron boiler of about 
the same form and capacity, to be exploded by the force of the 
internal steam, do you think that the mischief likely to be pro- 
duced by each of those, would be etpial ? taking any form you 
please, and exploding both, which would do the most mischief? 
— I do not think the wrought-iron boiler would separate into so 
many pieces as the cast-iron Ijoiler. 

Then do you think that the explosion of the wrought-iron 
boiler is attended with as much danger as the cast-iron boiler ^ 
— In every thing, excepting what depends u})on the fragments 
of the iron itself; I have no hesitation in saying, that cast-iroi^ 
boilers are safer than wrought-iron boilers. 

Why? — Because we can make them of a greater strength j 
you caimot make a wrought-iron boiler so strong as a cast one. 

For high pressure you may have ^ boiler of gast iron stronger 

on Steam-Boats. ^"^^ 

tha,. von can of wrought iron ?-I can -^^l^^^'^^ 
more'to be depended on for great P^'^^^^"';; '^"^^^S 
pressure is not wanted, wronght iron can be made sufhc.ently 

"^^."s-S- ^cident happened, would not a wrought iron 
LoUeTbe att^ended with as great n.ischief as a cast-on one -^ 
As great a number uf accidents happen from the common boiler, 
or wroiiglit-iron boilers, as from the cast ones. 

Mr. Andrew Vivian's Evidence. 
V/hat is vour profesMon ?— Miner and engineer. 
Where do vou reside ?-At Cambourne, in Cornwall. 
Have you been long acquainted with the construction of steam- 

engines >" For thirty years and upwards. 

"^Yorare then capLl of giving an opinion as to those^cireuni. 
stances by which danger is occasioned m the working them, and 

the means of preventing it ? — I am. 

Be pleased to state them ?-The danger arises from making 
the steam-vessel of insufficient strength for the steam ; every 
J^^^ineer might to be well acquainted with the power of the steam 
and make the steam- vessels in proportion to the strength of the 

'^ matTrecautions do you use to prevent explosion ?- Safety- 
ralves ; i^t less than Jo on every boiler where a^'f Pe^^^ 
of steam is required, and that the boilers be made of sufficient 
streneth, and proved before used. v, * ^f 

To^vhat proof are those boilers subjected, or to what proof 
ou^ht they to be subjected ?-By filling them with water, and 
bading Se safety-vaives with, perhaps, ten t^-s the weight 
required for the engine, and then by injecting w^ater into them, 
so as to lift those valves with tea times the weight requued 

When you say ten times, do you mean exactly t^' ^^^^^Yk"" 
Perhaps, ten or'twelve times the weight it is intended to woik 

You c'onceive that a boiler which has been so proved and fu - 
nished with safety-valves, properly adjusted to ^ts -nt-t to be 
perfectly safe in working with stean., whether or low pres- 

"h't'i^'re'anytfficulty in so adjusting the apertures or ,ves; 
that is, in calculating of what size the valves ought to be, to pr^ 
duce safety in a boiler of any g.ven "^^g"'^"'^"^ "J^"' "J;* '^^^^^ 
culty at all ; it is a plain and well-known thmg to all engineers, 
or to every one who ought to pretend to be an engineer 

Is it usual to work a high pressure engine at all ^^r ^« th^_' 
point to which the valves are thus adj"«ted?-We load Uie en 
Pines in the mines under my directions, to about foity pounds 
^; inc", and Ihe valves are 'then loaded to about forty-hve, p^er- 

S34 Report of the Select Commillee 

But those valves are capable of being loaded up to the full ex- 
tent to which the engine has been proved ? — Yes, 

Is it not easy and common so to construct one of the safety- 
valves, of wliich you have spoken, as tliat the engine-man shall 
not be able to load it beyond the pressure intended ? — One may 
be locked up, and very easily kept from the engine-man. 

When that one i? so locked up and kept from the engine-man, 
is it possible, according to the common calculation of events, 
that the boiler should then explode if the valve works freely ? — 
I do not conceive it possible that it could. 

Is it not easy so to construct the valve as that its operation 
shall not be hindered by any accident, such as adhering to the 
sides or clogging from fouling, or any thi.ig of that sort?— Very 
easily constructed, so as not to be liable to those accidents. 

Do you then see any reason why, in any situation whatever, 
the use of an engine should be liuiiled to the low pressure, or 
that which is usually called the condensing engine ? — By no 
means in the world. 

Do you conceive that there is any difference in the liabilitv to 
explode, between the boilers constructed of wrought and of cast 
iron ? — I should conceive that cast iron could be made much 
stronger than wrought iron, with less difficulty; I concei\e it to 
be a very difficult thing to make a wrought-iron boiler so strong 
as we can have it cast : we have some of our boilers made two 
inches thick; and to make a wrought-iron boiler equally strong 
as that, would be very difficult to be accomplished by workmen. 

Supposing a cast iron and a wrought iron to be of the same 
form, and each of them to be exploded by too great an internal 
force being applied, which of the two do you think is likely to 
produce the greatest mischief in the explosion r — Certainly, a 
cast-iron Ijoiler is likely to separate into more parts than a 
M-rought may be, and is likely to do more mischief. 

What accidents have happened to steam-boilers within your 
own knowledge, working either with low or high pressure steam? 
— I have known of no accident with high pressure steam and 
cast-iron boilers ; but I have known an accident happen work- 
ing with Boulton and Watt's low pressure engine, which was on 
the 28th ofNovemberlSli,in Wheal Abraham mine; a wf ought- 
iron boiler working with low pressure steam exploded tiieix and 
.scalded six men^ three of vvliom died in the course of a week 

Were any person^, at that time killeu by the fragments of the 
iron r — No ; it was entirely by the steam and the water. 

Do you recollect any instance in which a wrought-iron boiler 
exploded, so as that any persons were killed by the fragments ? 
—I do not. 


on Steam-Boats. 335 

Do you at all know, vvhetlier there is any difference between 
the power of the steam or water to scald, when under high or 
low j)ressure ? — The steam from low pressure scalds much worse 
than the steam from high pressure; as to the water, I cannot 
say. I cannot conceive that water can issue to any great di- 
stance from a high pressure boiler, it must soon be steam ; it 
must be converted into steam fiom its heat ; water cannot go 
beyond 212 degrees of heat, unless it is confined; beyond that 
it must be steam. 

Have you ever known any person scalded by the steam or the 
water issuing from a high pressure boiler ? — No. 

Have you ever knov»n any instances of persons being scalded 
by tlie steam or water from a low pressure one, besides that 
which you have mentioned ? — I have heard of a great number 
of instances oi this in different mines, but only that one came 
directly under my own eye. 

You have given the Committee to understand, that when 
boilers made of wrought iron are exposed to steam of high pres- 
sure there is great difficulty in making them sufficiently strong, 
for that tlie rivets are apt to draw, and the joints to become 
loose ; do you not conceive it very possible for the boilers in such 
cases to become useless by permitting the steam to escape, and 
yet not to explode so as to produce any fatal accident whatever? 
— I am quite of opinion, that boilers made of wrought iron for 
high pressure engines will soon become leaky, and may not ex- 
plode. I have known of an instance of a boiler of that descrip- 
tion made for Herland mine, and it soon became leaky, and un- 
fit for use in a very short time ; the consequence of which is, 
tfhe mine is knocked up, and a great number of people out of 

But no accident happened in consequence of this, by which 
any person was injured ? — No. 

Supposing the only object to be safety to the live? or limbs of 
the persons who should be surrounding the engine, would you in 
that case prefer having the boiler of a high pressure engine of 
wrought or of cast iron r — I would have cast iron, because it can 
certainly be made stronger than wrought iron for the same ex- 

Do you take into that calculation the difference of the mis- 
chief which might be occasioned, supposing the boiler by any 
accident to explode ? — I consider that risk is so small as that it 
scarcely need be taken into the question, because all explosions 
maty be easily prevented by proving the boiler every time it i* 
cleansed, wliicli I think should be at least every month. 

Is the operation of proving the boiler so easy as that it may 
be performed on board a steam-boat every month without ex- 

S66 Report of the Select Committee on Sleam-Boal^. 

pense or inconvenience ? — -Certainly; it consists, as 1 iiavc saic! 
before, only in filling the boiler with cold water, pntting great 
additional weight upon the sal'etv-valves, and tlien injecting wa- 
ter bv a forcing pump till the valve is lifted witli the additional 

Is it then yom- opinion, that every steam-engine ought to be 
provided with those means of proving the boiler, and that thev 
ought to be applied as often as yon have mentioned ? — Yes, tliey 
should; the very ])nmp by which the boiler is snj)plied with wa- 
ter may be used conveniently and sufficiently for this purpose ; 
high pressure boilers are all fed in the comnion way by forcing- 
pumps, and there is no difficulty in ap])lying it to the low pres- 
sure boilers. 

Have you found the use of a high pressure engine of any ad- 
vantage to the Cornish mines? — Of very great advantage, which 
can be proved by looking at the monthly reports, which I am 
fully convinced are correct. 

Do you conceive that a low pressure engine can be reckoned 
entirely safe, unless furnished with the safety-valves, such as be- 
fore described, and to one of which at least the engine-man has 
no access ? — I conceive that every engine ought co have those 
valves ; and one should be locked up to prevent careless engine- 
men doing mischief, which low pressure engines are as liable to 
as high. 

Have you any means of estimating the comparative consump- 
tion of coals by eitlier high or low pressure engines ? — Yes. 

Be so good as to state vour opinion upon that point ? — I con- 
ceive that a high pressure engine does greater duty with the 
same coals than a low, which will also be proved by the monthly 

Have you any further information on this subject, which you 
wish to communicate to the Committee? — Being desired to 
attend here on the part of the proprietors of three of the largest 
mines in Cornwall, the united mines of Crowan, Dolcoath and 
Wheal Unity, I wish to state their hope, that the Legislature will 
not interfere to prevent the use of high pressure engines, eithef 
on board boats or in any other way. 

You have not been used to steam-engines on board boats, but 
in mines chiefly ? — Chiefly in mines. 1 have seen them on board 

Do your answers apply equally to steam-engines on board 
boats as in mines, or may not more caution be necessary in boats 
than in mines ? — I conceive the answers to be applicable to 
boats as well as to mines. 

LIV. On 

[ 337 ] 

LIV. On extracting Alcohol from Potatoes, and preparing 
Potash from Potatoe-tops*. 

-L HE simple process described in the following communication 
deserves to be niarle very generally known, as a source of consi- 
derable emolument to the growers of potatoes. 

On extractive Alcohol from Potatoes. 
A French lady, [the Countess de N***, whom political events 
compelled to change her chateau on the banks of the Saone for 
a cottage eight leagues from Vienna, has established, on the 
small farm she occupies, a distillation of brandy from potatoes, 
which she has found to be very lucrative. The brandy of twenty 
degrees of Reaumur is very pure, and has neither taste nor smell 
different from that produced by the distillation of grapes. The 
method she employs is very simple, and within every person's 

■ Take 100 pounds of potatoes well washed, dress them by 
steam, and let them be bruised to powder with a roller, &c. In 
the mean time take four pounds of ground malt, steep it in 
lukewarm water, and then pour into the fermenting hack, and 
pour on it twelve quarts of boiling water ; this water is stirred 
about, and the bruised potatoes thrown in, and well stirred about 
with wooden rakes, till every part of the potatoes is well satu- 
rated with the liquor. 

Immediately six or eight oimces of yeast is to be mixed with 
twenty-eight gallons of water, of a proper warmth to make the 
whole mass of the temperature of from twelve to fifteen degrees 
of Reaumur ; — there is to be added half-a-pint to a pint of good 

The fermenting back nnist be placed in a room, to be kept by 
means of a stove at a temperature of fifteen to eighteen degrees 
of Reaumur. The mixture must be left to remain at rest. 

The back must be large enough to suffer the mass to rise seven 
or eight inches, without running over. If, notwithstanding this 
precaution, it does so, a little must be taken out, and returned 
when it falls a little : the back is then covered again, and the 
fermentation is suffered to finish without touching it — which 
takes place generally in five or six days. This is known by its 
being perceived that the li(juor is quite clear, and the potatoes 
fallen to the bottom of the back. The fluid is decanted, and 
the potatoes pressed dry. 

* Fioiiithe Monthly Magazine for Octoher 1,1317. Coniinunlcatcfl by 
Mr. P.. Jones of TJiitli. — The additional cxperiinenls apjiearcd iii the 
Diihlin Journal ofihe 25th of October, and were probably undertaken to 
•verify thovn of th(; Trench chemist. 

Vol.50. No. 235. JVoy. 1817. Y The 

338 On extracting Alculiolfrom Potatoes, atid 

The distillation is by vapour, with a wooden or copper still 
on the plan of Count Runiford. The product of the first distil- 
lation is low wines. 

When the fermentation has been favourable, from every 100 
pounds of potatoes, six quarts and upwards of good brandy, of 
twenty degrees of the areometer, are obtained; which, put into 
new casks, and afterwards browned witli burnt sugar, like the 
French brandies, is not to be distiuguished from them. 

The Countess de N. has dressed and distilled per diem 1000 
pounds of potatoes at twice, which gives sixty to seventy (jtiarts 
ot good brandy. Vv^e may judge from this essay what would b* 
tlie advantages of sucIj an operation, if carried on on a grand 
scale, and throughout the year. 

The residue of the distillation is used as foofl for the stock of 
her farm ; which consists of thirty-four horned cattle, sixty pigs, 
and sixty sheep: they all are excessively fond of it when mixed 
with water, and the cows yield abundance of milk. The sheep 
use about five (|uarts per diem each ; vi/,. one-half in the morn- 
ing, and one- half at night. The malt must be fresh-groundi 
the Countess has it ground every week. 

On ike Mea?is of extracting Potash from Potutoe-tops. 

One of the most important discoveries of the present day is 
that of a druggist of Amiens, by which Europe will be freed from 
the heavy tribute she pays to America for the article of potash. 
The author of this discovery has, in a truly patriotic manner, 
made known his discovery — after ascertaining, by a series of ex- 
periments, the truth of his conclusions. The French Society of 
Agriculture, and the Society for Encouragement of National In- 
dustry, have both named commissioners to frame official reports: 
in the mean time, we feel it important to give an account of the 
process, in the hope that, even in the present season, it may be 
turned to account — as it interests landlords, tenants, merchants 
and manufacturers. 

It is necessary to cut off the potatoe-tops the moment that 
the flowers begin to fall, as that is the period of their greatest 
vigour ; they must be cut off at four or five inches from the 
ground, with a very sharp knife. Fresh sprouts spring, which 
not only answer all the purposes of conducting the roots to ma- 
turity, but tend to an increase of their volume, as they (the 
sprouts) demand less nourishment than the old top. The tops 
may be suffered tC' remain on the ground where cut; in eight or 
ton days they are sufficiently dry without turning, and may be 
carted, either home or to a corner of the field, where a hole i& 
to be du^ in the earth, about five feet square and two feet deep 
(the combustion would be too rapid, and the ashes cool too 


preparing Potash from Potaloe-tops. 339 

quick, and thereby diminish the quantity of alkali, were they 
burnt in the open air). The ashes) must be kept red-hot as long 
as possible : vvlien the fire is strong-, tops that are only imper- 
fectly dried m;iv be thrown in, and even green ones will then 
burn well enough. 

The ashes extracted from the hole must be put in a vessel, and 
boiling water be poured u]Jon it, as tlieu the water must be eva- 
porated : for these two operations potatoe-tops may l)e used alone 
as firing in the furnace, and t!ie ashes coileeted. There remains 
after the evajjoration a drv saline leddidi substance, known in 
commerce under the name of salin; tiie more the ashes are 
boiled^ the graver and more valuable the salin becomes. 

The sal'm must then be calcined in a very hot oven, until the 
whole mass presents an uniform reddish brown. In cooling it re- 
mains dry, and in fragments — blueish within, and white on the 
surface ; in which state it takes the name of potass. 

The ashes, exhausted of their alkaline principle, afford excel- 
lent manure for land intended co be planted with potatoes. 

The following is a tal)le of the results obtained in France: 
An acre planted with potatoes, at one foot distance, 

gives plants • ■ 40,000 

These -40,000 plants vield, on an average, three 

pounils per plant at least, or of gieen tops . . 120,000 lbs. 

On drying they are reduced to 40,000 lbs. 

This quantity produces of ashes 7,500 lbs. 

The evaporation gives of ashes exhausted of alkali 5,000 lbs. 

Salin 2,500 lbs. 

The salin loses ten to fifteen per cent, in calcination, 

which gives of potash .. 2,200 lbs. 

All these estimates are taken at the lowest ; by which it is 
evident that upwards of 2000 pounds of potash may be obtained, 
in addition to an increased croj), from every acre of potatoes, 
or a value far exceeding that of the croji itself. Farmers of 
course will next vear turn this discovery to the best account, in 
planting those ])otatoes which yield the greatest quantity of tops. 
The expenses of preparnig the potash, as above described, in- 
cluding every tiling, is about six guineas per acre. 

*j^* I cannot conclude these articles without inviting the cul- 
tivators of England and Ireland to instantlv seize the immense 
advantages afforded bv the two discoveries here announced. The 
former will fiee ns from our tribute to France for brandies ; a 
commerce which the Emperor Napoleon turned to such good ac- 
comit during the war — insisting on British vessels, which carried 
over staple connnodities to France, to return with cargoes of 
wine and brandy; and the latter will, it is trusted, free com- 
merce, and our dvers in particular, of tlic necessity of aj)plving 
y2 'to 


On extracting Alcohol from Potatoes, d^c; 

to Russia and America for potash, of which our consumption is im-" 
mense. 1 will, in an early number, give the French methods of 
making the best brandies, which I collected in the same capital. 

Additional Experiments. 

About the 20th of last Septen;ber, Mr. Rice, of Trinity Col- 
lege, cut down a quantity of the stalks or the apple potatoe, which 
being carefully dried and burnt, and the ashes lixiviated, eva- 
porated, and (in part) analysed, gave results from whicli he con- 
cludes that 1000 parts of green stalk yield of stalk sufficiently 
dry for burning, 102.8/89-1, producing'7.9G0S8 ashes^ affording 
3.90313 saline products. 

The produce of salt, per Irish acre, planted lazy-bed method, 
about 243 pounds trov (201 pounds 8 ounces avoir.). 

He obtained from 100 parts dried stalk, by incineration, 
3. 905 130 ashes— 

r47.327 insoluble and earthy matter. 

From 100 ashes, -l 3.G 19 carbonaceous matter. 
C 49.05 4 soluble in water. 

From the soluble part, concentrated in an iron, and evaporated 
to dryness in a silver dish, in 100 parts — 
S.07S potash. 
66.437 muriate of potash. 
10.807 sulphate of potash. 
6.400 carbonic acid. 
4.900 water. 
3.000 earthy and metallic carbonates and silica. 

Together with a small quantity of alumina, and a minute portion 
of iron, the exact weights of which are not yet ascertained. The 
potash is of a dark-gray tint, its solution very much coloured by 
extractive, and exhibiting traces of manganese. 

To enable our readers to form a judgement of the relative pro- 
duce of potatoe-stalks, we lay before them an estimate of the 
produce of a few trees and vegetables, calculated by those whose 
names are annexed : 

Botanic Names. 

Engl. Names. 




-5; Salix ciiierca - - - 

Sailo-.v - 



; Acad.Sci. 

~ Pinus sylvestris - - 

Fir - - 



."* Sonchus arvensis 

Sow Thistle 




=' rumariaotiicinalis 

Fumitory - 




v/ Artemisia Absiiitliiuiii 





;;? Urtica dioica - - - 

Nettle - 




§ Erica vulgaris - - 

Heath ) 
100 Asiics ) 



'^ \Ptcris aquilina - - 

Fern - - 




Ditto - - 




On the Physiology ofVegeiaUes. 341 

Not having the weight of green stalk suhjoincd, is a great im- 
pediment to calculations, as to the quantity likely to be produced 
from a certain portion of land. However, the succulent plants, as 
fumitory, generally lose by drying 8-lOths or fi-lOths of their 
original weight: it is probable, therefore, that 1000 parts green 
fumitory produce about 15.8 salt; 1000 parts green fern pro- 
duce about 14.33 ashes, or salts 1.G5. 

LV. On the Physiology of'VegetahLes. By Mrs. Iebetson. 

To Mr. Tillach. 

Sir, — JVjLy general task on the dissection of plants has been for 
some time suspended by the extreme desire I feel of showing how 
highly serviceable this sort of knowledge may become to gar- 
dening and farming. My usual communications, showing the 
nature and form of vege,tables in general, have therefore been 
suspended while J was writing and publishing a pamphlet on 
some of the most important points of agriculture; which are as- 
suredly taught and enforced bv phvtology far beyond even my first 
expectations; since there is scarcely a single dissection of plants 
that may not be said to teach a lesson respecting their manage- 
ment, to enforce a precept most salutary to farming in general. 

But I now return to that matter of which I am daily aixl 
hourly receiving stronger conviction. — I have shown in the most 
plain and perspicuous manner in my power, that what has been 
taken for the perspiration of plants is, on the contrary, matter 
drawn from the atmosphere and communicated to the vegetable ; 
that perspiration is as luniecessaryas impossible to a cold-blooded 
being like a plant, since it is shown to be perfectly incompatible 
to the formation of even a cold-blooded animal ; that the 
figures taken for perspiration are so completely unlike a bubble 
of water, that no person seeing them could possibly deny that a 
gross error must have arisen in the science to acquire for such 
appearances such an appellation, since no one could expect to 
find perspiration fixed on a pedestal, which all these apparent 
bubbles are. I have also shown that though to give out water 
from the plant no sort of mechanism is necessary, yet to draw 
it in from the atmosphere, and arrange it in the plant, great 
contrivances are required, besides a powerful vacuuni, valves, 
&c. &c. : and this at once accounts for the mechanic power of 
the hairs, and the wonderful variety of the figures and a| pcar- 
ance of these instruments. I have before shown that plants can 
be fed only in two ways; — by means of nutriment from the al- 
mosphere, and from the earth ; and that in whatever situation 
the plant is, whether at the covimencement of its formation, or 
Y 3 conclusion, 

S42 On the Physiology of FegetaUes. 

conclusion, this nviriment is so hesloued as to be yielded to if in 
so visible and evident a manner, as alu-avs (if the vegetable be 
laid open) to be apparent to the eye, and clearly and easily un- 
derstood bytlieniind, by th'^ help of a small half-guinea mag- 
nifier: — v.-hether it is the bud, the flower, or the seed, they are all 
no7irished nearly in the same manner, but at diffe->-eJit tima; 
and the whole process to be traced bv the eye, and wlien it is 
the nourishment of the earth, to be followed from the root up- 
wards — if the dissector will take the trouble to investigate it : 
but in the seed-vessel it is pecuiin/ly so, I have shown how the 
little heart of the seed is formed in the radicle, and carried from 
the root up the ali)urnum in the stem, and from thence to the 
seed-vessel at the bottom of tlie bud. (See fig. 1, Plate V.) 1 
shall now explain in how curious a manner part of the seed is 
filled uj) bv the atmosphere, and afterwards bv the earth. — This 
is exemplified in no plants in a better or plainer manner than 
in the wheat and gourd. Tiie nutriment is first bestowed by the 
atmosphere : ilie mechanism is then so wonderful and so beau- 
tiful, that the dullest being woidd be struck with admiration and 
astonishment, if viewing the irraccful feather that performs the 
operation. (Sec fig. 2. Plate V.) After fructifying the plant and 
partly filling the heart, the juices of the atmosphere fill up the 
bag of the seed more than oiic-third, before the vessels that run 
up from the root open their mouths to bestow their ([uota of 
nourishment which is collecting in the p;lh tor the purpose i 
— But all this the print will best explain. 

As soon as the males or stamens appear hanging out of the 
scales, the wheat must be taken : it will then be found that the 
heart of the seed (fig. 2. a, a), has just entered the bag of the 
seed, which is then (except the corculum) empty, or inflated 
with air only. As soon as the heart {a a) is fastened at the top 
of the bag, all the beautiful mechanism appears from which the 
nutriment of the atmosphere will arise : at that time the pollen 
spreads all over the feather of the stigma, dissolves when mixed 
with the sweet juice it tliere encounters, and runs down the feather 
for the impregnation of the seed : — it mav be seen at fig. 4, of 
what regular pitchers the feather is composed, for its reception. 
As soon as the impreguati(!n of the heart of the seed is com- 
pleted, then the feather cleanses itself fi{)m the pollen, and the 
pitchers udiich had before beenso filled with the sweet juices of the 
line of life, as not to admit the moisture continually falling from 
the heavens all around it; but the sweet juice now disappearing, 
and the pitchers being emptv, open again to receive the juices 
of the atmosphere, and the bag of the seed begins visibly to fill. 
But it is not the feather alone which conveys nourishment from 
the atmosphere; the quantity of hairs which surround the grain 


On the Physiology of Vegetahles. 543 

'of wlieat, and are in such numbers as completely to conceal and 
cover it (see fif^. 2. Ih), pour in their nutriment at the bottom 
of the bag (c c) ; but it equallylises to replenish tlie seed: — the 
entrance of the two juitcs is, however, easily distinguished; 
they are both liquids, though that which proceeds from the 
feather is infinitelv thicker and richer than the other, which ap- 
pears like water, though with much gas in it. As soon as 
the feather and hairs have completed their absorption, and that 
the whole has eutered the bag of the seed, the apparatus dies 
away by degrees; and all that graceful sparkling feather, with its 
attendant hairs on each seed of the wheal, all vanish, or leave 
such a trifling vestige as to show that it is no longer of use. 
The whole appearance of the plant becomes altered ivithin, from 
a number of vessels which almost fill up the interior; sometimes 
there are as many as eight ; they run up to the flower-stem within 
the pith, and the stem of course swells and enlarges to begin the 
next process, which is the yielding tlie nutriment from the earth. 
(See fig. 2 d,d/l.) I would not give two figures of the wheat. To 
show therefore this part of the process, I have taken the gourd, 
because it makes the filling up of &he bag of the seed still plainer 
than it could have been in the wheat : — tliis plant having many 
seeds in one seed-vessel, it more easily shows the nutriment 
flowing up the pith into each bag from the root, and entering 
the seed-vessel. See fig. 3. e,e.e, a specimen of the gourd cut 
horizontally, and showing the various seed-vessels already half- 
filled by the atmosphere, and beginning to take in their nourish- 
ment from the earth. The whole process is exactly the same as 
in the wheat; only that the vessels, which were six in nimiber, 
and which poured'in the nutriment from the atmosphere into the 
seed-vessel, have all disappeared, and the pisiil has dried off too 
much to send any more juices to the part ; for the gourd equally 
took in the atmospheric juices from the stigma and the watery 
tiutriment from the hairs that for the time surrounded the seed- 
vessel. The vessels// contain the heart of the seeds, and the 
powdered nutriment is plainly shown at g, g,g, to pour into the 
bottom of the seed-bag, to which they are fastened, and after- 
wards detach themselves when c(miplete, I have laid them open 
merely to show the powder flowing in : — this nutriment may be 
traced running up from the root in any part of the stem adjoining 
the pith, provided the exact time of its flowing is taken, and the 
stoppage only takes place when the seeds are quite full ; then 
the vessels quickly disapjiear, and form naw matter. No mis- 
take can be greater than to suppose the plant is always the same 
ill the interior ; but the changes are so quick and immediate that 
they must be watched for, to be discovered. 

The cutting the specimens thus lays open all the vessels, and 
Y A of 

344 On the Physiology of Vegelahles. 

of course explains the different process to which they are subject. 
When the powder is mixed with the liquid in the wheat seed, 
they soon form a species of thick milk, which as it hardens be- 
comes flour: this flour mav !)e traced from the rnnl iif:/i'(iids, in 
all the vessels formed for its reception in the pith wiiicii it sur- 
rounds; indeed it often almost eiigrosscs the lioUow stem for five 
or six weeks preceding ihe cutting of the corn. 

Thus then the manner of receiving- the nutriment from the 
atmosphere is totally different from that of receiving it from the 
earth; — it is impossible to mistake th(^m. It is also e(iuaily un- 
likely to take the nutriment i)est()wefi by the earth (wliich is an 
extremely fine powder) for the hearts of the seeds, which are re- 
gular bails. I have shown that a a are the hearts of tiie seeds 
in the gourds. But there is never but one corculum to each 
seed; and yet the amazing number of hearts are (like the seeds) 
scarcely to be reckoned: Nature's astonishing prolific powers in 
all these respects are quite wonderful. But one circumstance (as 
much as any thing I have before mentioned) proves that it is the 
heart of tiie seed which is formed in tlie radicle which enters 
the seed-vessel, since(though it enters .'■ingly) it has still that string 
accompanying it with which it is always found; and wiiich soon 
runs up the pistil, and forms, by enlarging the very vessel which 
conveys the juice frotn the stigma to imjuegnate the seciK, and 
which never e iters but a single heart to each seed: and though 
I have dissected many thousands, I have never vet foimd two 
ccrculums : though several will come to the edges of tlie stalk 
(fig. 3. h, h, h) yet it is only in case the heart has died away, 
which often happens, that there may be another readv to suc- 
ceed. As soon as the case of the seed begins to form, all the re- 
maining hearts agglutinate and thicken; and, by degrees forming 
a mass, complete the outside of the seed. They are therefore 
of use; there is no loss: and though Nature is so prolific, yet 
not a single ingredient is wasted. The over-abundance of seeds, 
if completed, have each their order of insects they were intended 
to nourish, or for which they were disposed as nests ; and the 
hearts of the seeds (if superabundant) contribute to form the 
exterior of the seed. Attention to usefulness is peculiarly seen 
in the chesiiut : — there are always six seeds formed in every case, 
when first the flower appears ; but there are never hardly more 
than two together, when the seeds are completed : when the 
seed-vessel has rc-eived the hearts intended for each seed, it 
begins to take in tne nutriment from the atmosj)here; but soon 
It is found to select two only, and the others by degrees pass off 
or conglutinate into the mass which surrounds it, while the 
powder from the root enters afterwards and serves to fill up and 
nourish the two best seeds. But no different sort of matter can 


On the Physiology of Vegetables. 345 

form the hnpoitant ingredients that come from the root. The 
heart must alwavs proceed from tlie radicle, and be formed there, 
and running up the alburnum into the seed-vessels, but doing so 
it is subject to get bruised and injured : therefore, when it is so, 
another immediately supplies its ])lace before it is fructified, but 
not till the heart has got into its right place. It appears to go 
through some trial, which not sustaining, it decays and disap- 
pears, and another takes its place. I have known three i)anished 
tlms, one after the other ; but they never pa's further into the 
bag tlian a, a, o, but dry awav and disappear, while another 
(the first in tiie line), //, //,//, fig. 3. irikts its place; and the 
others in the stalk in time form other vessels required. The 
corns and gra^scs are the only plants whose heart of the seed 
moves after once entering the case. lu wheat it first enters at 
the top ; and when it has taken all its nutriment from the at- 
mosphere, it falls to the